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Author Topic: Henri Cartier-Bresson: Living and Looking  (Read 6226 times)
RSL
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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2013, 04:29:10 PM »
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Then I take it you find Ansel's shots of El Capitan "enlightening?"
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2013, 04:33:47 PM »
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So, show me the facts then. That one is "popular word-wide," beyond the fraternity, as Rob claims, an the other is "just a footnote in art history," as Russ claims.


Iím sorry, but American awards to American Ďartistsí is a pretty meaningless concept outwith the American circus, be it Hollywood or the galleries. Itís like Nashville and Grand Ole Oprey Ė who knows any of them or gives a shit?

The thing is this: you find that every country has its internally known Ďstarsí, whose light shines rather less brightly abroad. Take Britain, for example. If you were to ask the guy in the street who the best snapper is, heíll invariably reply David Bailey. Not because he is, but because heís a popular icon whose fame surpasses the gamut of the other snappers: heís the one invoked when a snapperís name is required. Heís even recognized from an old Olympus series of commercials. Most non-snappers have probably never heard of Avedon, Bill King, Bruce Weber, Nick Knight, and all the rest. At a stretch, they may think Getty is a famous snapper. They might have heard of Mario Testino, though, if they can remember who shot some snaps of Lady Di...

But, if you can remove the local heroís name from the equation, then itís the guys from way back who come out as the standards on an international basis, and on that list, itís going to be HC-B before Adams; most will think he just invented the fireplace or was big on apples and snakes. If you go to the better bookshops in Britain, it ainít Adams books you find folks looking at Ė if there are any - itís the Boys of Paris. And that includes old Helmut too, because thatís where he made himself. Itís the same here in Spain: I have never seen an Avedon book anywhere, in a shop or elsewhere. But plenty of Parisians, native or adopted, to be found as well as a few US porn merchants whose names I forget Ė as quickly as possible.

I used to buy French PHOTO, which spawned American PHOTO.  For a while I bought both. They both ran a list of the 100 most influential figures in photography. Guess what: the lists were not the same. Surprise, surprise!

Also, you must remember that photography, as wall art, has been popular in the States for a long time Ė it still struggles for legitimacy elsewhere. So naturally, the King of Wall art, unchallenging, unthreatening and safe wall art, must reign pretty near the top at home, especially when itís a matter of America the Beautiful as product. Itís an internal extension of all those flagpoles outside your houses: who else does that, outwith China or North Korea? Oh yes, I had a Canadian neighbour who did, here in Spain. In Scotland they do it differently: they used to produce a zillion varieties of Bonnie Scotland scenic calendars, and pretty much every single one was sent abroad to distant relatives who might never have set foot in the old place.

Frankly, Iím pretty photographer/photography aware by definition, but there are few guys whose work Iíd hang at home or anywhere else, for that matter. And the Saint ainít one of them.

Slightly OT, but if you are going to hang photographs, then I think you need an office in a skyscraper for it.

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 04:38:21 PM by Rob C » Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2013, 04:33:57 PM »
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This thread is becoming as one of those Canon vs. Nikon, Mac vc. PC, etc. Which is totally ridiculous, as everyone knows Canon is better than Nikon, Mac is superior to Windows, and AA far better photographer than HCB Grin
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RSL
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« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2013, 04:46:11 PM »
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That's zero for three, Slobodan.
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Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2013, 10:13:25 AM »
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Game, set and match.

;-)

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2013, 10:34:53 AM »
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Game, set and match.

Judge, jury and executioner?
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Isaac
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« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2013, 11:39:59 AM »
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If you were to ask the guy in the street who the best snapper is, heíll invariably reply David Bailey.

If you were to ask the guy of a certain age... he'll invariably reply...
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Isaac
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« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2013, 12:39:15 PM »
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Henri was one of the finest artists of the twentieth century, and certainly the most influential photographer of the century. Ansel did some good work, but as far as the history of the art is concerned, next to Henri Ansel's a footnote.

From the familiar remarks Cartier-Bresson usually made to interviewers straight into a put-down of Ansel Adams?

Russ Lewis, you are such a fanboy! :-)
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2013, 04:45:46 PM »
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Judge, jury and executioner?

Sometimes, there's no alternative.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2013, 04:53:10 PM »
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If you were to ask the guy of a certain age... he'll invariably reply...


I rather suspect that younger guys have even less history upon which to draw.

In which case, they are fishing in an even more shallow pond which must diminish the value of their response insofar as its historical and, therefore, overall value can be measured. Obviously, that would drive poor old Ansel even further out of the pop ratings. Other than in the States, of course.

Rob C
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nemo295
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2013, 06:33:51 PM »
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Iím sorry, but American awards to American Ďartistsí is a pretty meaningless concept outwith the American circus, be it Hollywood or the galleries. Itís like Nashville and Grand Ole Oprey Ė who knows any of them or gives a shit?

Clearly you don't. But somehow I think the international reputation of the American art community will survive, despite your summary judgement.

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If you go to the better bookshops in Britain, it ainít Adams books you find folks looking at Ė if there are any - itís the Boys of Paris. And that includes old Helmut too, because thatís where he made himself.

Frankly your account of what's going on in art book stores sounds 20 years out of date. Helmut Newton? Really? His popularity peaked circa 1992. While it's true that you won't find much of Ansel's work on the shelves today, many American photographers are quite well represented at UK art book dealers. More so, in fact, than the "Boys of Paris". THE premiere retailer of photography monographs in the UK is photobookstore.co.uk. You'll find no shortage of Americans there--but not a single monograph of HCB's work, or Helmut's for that matter. Frank, Eggleston, Hido, Winogrand, Misrach, Meyrowitz, Klein, Friedlander (to name a few)--yes. Japanese photographers, like Moriyama and Nishimura, are also quite popular. These are the photographers whose books the serious collectors are buying in the UK and around the world today, not the old French guard. It would seem there are a few people left in the world who don't share your contempt for American artists.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2013, 07:08:37 PM »
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 OK, smarty-pantses.  Somebody somewhere (and some time ago for most of us) some single photographer inspired you to either pick up a camera or learn to use the one you had.

Who was that photographer?
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FranciscoDisilvestro
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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2013, 07:29:59 PM »
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OK, smarty-pantses.  Somebody somewhere (and some time ago for most of us) some single photographer inspired you to either pick up a camera or learn to use the one you had.

Who was that photographer?

Ernst Haas

Regards
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Isaac
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« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2013, 08:21:50 PM »
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Henri's pictures enlighten us.

Please share one of those photographs that you feel enlightens us.
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nemo295
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« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2013, 08:25:31 PM »
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OK, smarty-pantses.  Somebody somewhere (and some time ago for most of us) some single photographer inspired you to either pick up a camera or learn to use the one you had.

Who was that photographer?

The very first one was Paul Strand, but there have been many others since, most notably Eugene Smith and Josef Sudek.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2013, 10:39:08 PM »
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How refreshing to find a thread on LuLa that isn't involved with "my megapixels are better than your megapixels" or some variant thereof.

Here we have "My favorite photographer can beat up your favorite photographer with one Canon tied behind his Nikon!"   


 Huh  Huh  Huh

Why don't you all go out and take some photographs that you like?

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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2013, 11:48:58 PM »
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Scientific proof that AA is twice as popular as HCB:

I rest my case Grin


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Slobodan

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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2013, 03:41:44 AM »
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Clearly you don't. But somehow I think the international reputation of the American art community will survive, despite your summary judgement.

Frankly your account of what's going on in art book stores sounds 20 years out of date. Helmut Newton? Really? His popularity peaked circa 1992. While it's true that you won't find much of Ansel's work on the shelves today, many American photographers are quite well represented at UK art book dealers. More so, in fact, than the "Boys of Paris". THE premiere retailer of photography monographs in the UK is photobookstore.co.uk. You'll find no shortage of Americans there--but not a single monograph of HCB's work, or Helmut's for that matter. Frank, Eggleston, Hido, Winogrand, Misrach, Meyrowitz, Klein, Friedlander (to name a few)--yes. Japanese photographers, like Moriyama and Nishimura, are also quite popular. These are the photographers whose books the serious collectors are buying in the UK and around the world today, not the old French guard. It would seem there are a few people left in the world who don't share your contempt for American artists.



Your colouring my views on Nashville into a generalized Ďcontemptí of an entire nationís artistic product is a bit OTT; there are lotís of early US photographers whose work pushed me to joining the ranks of the wet nicotined fingers set. To be clear: my best intro to photography was achieved through the Popular Photography Annuals of the fifties and, I think, early sixties (not counting, for the moment, the pages of Vogue and Harperís B.). The Saint wasnít one of them. I canít even remember his name coming up at the timeÖ

My point was/is that because something rings lots of bells in the States, that doesnít mean that it inevitably counts for much outwith that country. Hence the two different lists of the ď100 most influential people in photographyĒ in American PHOTO and the parent, French edition.

It also cuts the other way: R Ďní B was huge In Britain long before US whites were Ďallowedí to hear it on their radio stations; and even then, it was copied by more of the same colour Ė Pat Boone, anyone? Ė and the rip offs were the ones that made the money. It more or less took the Beatles and the Stones to introduce white America to its own, home-grown music! Jazz fared little better, with many black US artists making Paris homeÖ yes Paris, always to the fore with the arts.

Regarding UK bookshops: you could be right Ė I never ran a survey; however, that the list of snappers is wider then HC-B is hardly surprising Ė they have to try and sell something, and I suppose most buyers of photo books already own their set of HC-Bs, much as with Newton. Itís a small market, at easily fifty to a hundred euros a pop! (And considerably more if you buy some of the Taschen book offerings!) Letís not forget David Hamilton, whilst we are chatting about books, posters, movies and galleries and sales figures.

Francisco mentioned Ernst Haas. Undoubtedly one of the true stars of modern photographyu, and also a maker of seminal books, but an American? From Vienna?

Do you perceive no irony in putting Eggleston and Winogrand into the same pantheon of great photographers as William Klein and Frank?

Rob C
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FranciscoDisilvestro
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2013, 05:12:21 AM »
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Francisco mentioned Ernst Haas. Undoubtedly one of the true stars of modern photographyu, and also a maker of seminal books, but an American? From Vienna?

Rob C


Well, I Know Ernst Haas was from Austria, I was just responding to a question of who (photographer) inspired me, never said he was American.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2013, 09:36:10 AM »
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Scientific proof that AA is twice as popular as HCB:

I rest my case Grin



Fine examples of "photographs you like," Slobodan.

Of course, Google is aimed at the Great Unwashed, so its results cannot be considered definitive. So, since LuLa members are the true Elite of the Photographic Art world, I decided to poll them:

Number of posts on LuLa by AA:     0
Number of posts on LuLa by HCB:   0

So it appears to be a tie.    Undecided    Shocked

Eric M.
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