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The Secret Paris of the '30s by Brassaï
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The Secret Paris of the '30s (1976)

by Brassaï

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I went to the opening of Brassai's show at the Marlborough Gallery in New York in 1976. Brassai was there, standing in the middle of a circle of admirers, including a critic from the New York Times and the director of the Metropolitan Museum. As it happens, no one was looking at the photographs on the wall except me, a scruffy hippie kid. Brassai broke away from the circle of admirers. He came and stood next to me and said "Do you like the photograph?" I said, "Yes!" He said, "Je suis Brassai." I said, "I know!" I told him I had a show of photos at the Stieglitz gallery downtown called Shameless. I told him one of the photos in my show was an homage to his portrait of Miss Diamonds aka "Bijou." He invited me to come to lunch with him. It was one of the most inspiring episodes in my life. I was moved that a man at the peak of his career would take the time to encourage an unknown kid. He autographed my copy of this book. I gave him a copy of my photo: "Bijou of Andy's Donuts" which was shot at a donut shop in the Castro in 1975. His photographs are exquisite, shot on location in Paris. He works with modified ambient light under difficult circumstances. He captures a range of moments from the dramatic to the charming, in beautifully atmospheric light. His compositions are flawless. His black and white prints are magnificent (not really adequately rendered in the book.) He told me that photographs age like fine wine. He said I should bring my photographs of San Francisco in the 70's out in 30 or 40 years, and they would be even more admired. I plan to do that around 2015. ( )
1 vote DavidGreene | Jul 18, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0500271089, Paperback)

One of the most evocative photographic memoirs every published. It was known that Brassai had taken a series of 'secret photographs' which could not be published because of their daring nature - the forbidden Paris, a sordid bas-monde where high society mingled with the underworld.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:58 -0400)

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