Archive for June 27th, 2014

Brassai_1899_1984__ Paris 6I realized after publishing yesterday’s post that, while I had shown the work of many great phtographers,  I had never before shown any of the photos of Brassai here.  That was an oversight on my part.  Called the Eye of Paris by his friend Henry Miller, Brassai’s work is iconic and defines the perception that many people have of Paris in the first half of the last century.

Born in Hungary with the name Gyula Halasz  in 1899, he studied art and served with the Austro-Humgarian army in World War I.  After the war, he found his way to vibrant Paris, filled with the great artists, writers and musicians of the time.  He adopted the pseudonym Brassai  from the name of his hometown and soon was photographing the city that he so loved  and was his home for the rest of his life, until his death in 1984.  His photos of Paris captured its high life and its low life, with photos of the great artists and thinkers that made their way there alongside the photos of decadent parties and photos of the brothels and the prostitutes along the city’s avenues.  For me, when I think of Brassai I think of his night scenes that capture the shadows and mist of the city as well as the lovers who embrace on the darkened boulevards.

It’s powerful work, work that evokes both a time and a place as well as a feeling.  Brassai was indeed the Eye Of Paris and I’m pleased to have taken care of my oversight here.  Most of these photos are from the early 1930’s.

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