In praise of Robert Frank

Honest and unsentimental, Robert Frank is a giant of modern photography and one of my favorite photographers, dating back to before I was a motorhead (sidebar: is to petrolhead what ricer is to chav), during my brief years prowling the streets of New York as a street and documentary photographer. His The Americans (out of print, but recently reissued as an expanded edition) rattled a lot of cages – on the basis of content (Frank, with his Swiss background, heavy Jewish accent, and unvarnished outsider’s presentation of the United States, was received as a freedom-hating communist- sound familiar?) as well as technique (Pop Photo: “meaningless blur, grain, muddy exposures, drunken horizons and general sloppiness”) – when introduced to US audiences in 1959, and is essential for any serious art or photography book collection. See the show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art if you happen to be in New York.

– Gyro

~ by velofinds on October 12, 2009.