Archive for Henri Cartier-Bresson

Reflections on Portraiture

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by stevemccurry

 What could be more simple and more complex,
more obvious and more profound than a portrait.
- Charles Baudelaire 

ETHIOPIA-10319Ethiopia

Los Angeles, California, USA, 1991, USA-10023Portraits_BookPORTRAITS_BookLos Angeles, California, United States

As human beings we are fascinated with how we and others look.
Diane Arbus talked about the gap between intention and effect as revealed in portraiture.
People put on make-up and adorn themselves because they want to create an effect and
give a certain impression, but often other people look at them and say it’s tragic or comical or curious or funny or odd.
Portraiture can be that kind of sharp critique.

ITALY-10427NF2Italy

00008_11, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002Kabul, Afghanistan

A good portrait is one that says something about the person. 
We usually see parts of ourselves in others, so the
good portrait should also say something about the human condition.

01512 031Mizoram, India

TIBET-10605NFTibet

Most of my portraits are not formal situations;
they are found situations. 

Restaurant, Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2002, final book_iconicBamiyan, Afghanistan

The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and
the eyes mark its intentions.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

VIETNAM-10004Vietnam

INDIA-10582NFIndia

TIBET-10663Tibet

There is no single form or style of portraiture.
Portraiture means individualism and as such means diversity,
self-expression, private point of view.

The most successful images seem to be those which exist on several planes at once …
- Peter Bunnell

INDIA-11771NFIndia

ETHIOPIA-10235 (1)Ethiopia

A true portrait should today and a hundred years from today, be the
testimony of how this person looked and what kind of human being he was.
 Philippe Halsman

AFGHN-13027Afghanistan

BURMA-10410Burma

BANGLADESH-10020Bangladesh

YEMEN-10004NFYemen

INDIA-11525 (1)India

Photography and the genre of portraiture have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship.
From the beginning of depiction, the portrait has invited its audience to recognize the
identity of the subject and then to remember.
- Anthony Bannon

ETHIOPIA-10304Ethiopia

Portraits reveal a desire for human connection;
a desire so strong that people who know they will never see me again

open themselves to the camera,  all in the hope that at the other end
someone will be watching,

someone who will laugh or suffer with them.

AFGHN-10211Afghanistan

The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and
put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

FRANCE-10028, France, 1989France

Upcoming Exhibitions

Alex Del Piero Gallery
Torino, Italy
16 May 2014 through 31 August 2014

Juminkeko Foundation
Kuhmo, Finland
21 March 2014 through 6 June 2014

 Beetles & Huxley Gallery
London, UK
 May 2014

Frederic Got Fine Art Gallery
Paris, France
May 2014

Theatre de la Photography et de l’Image
Nice, France
27 June 2014 through 28 September 2014

The Eye of the Beholder

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by stevemccurry

 

 The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, are two of the world’s most iconic buildings.   They both evoke passionate emotions, even love, despite being  on opposite ends of the historical and architectural spectrum.

 

INDIA-10325

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Built with translucent white marble and inlaid with gems from China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Arabian peninsula

 

 In both buildings shape, size, scale, proportion, texture, color, and light  work together to spectacular effect, but very simple structures can also be designed to bring aesthetic pleasure.

  

SPAIN-10002NF

Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
Constructed with a steel frame covered with titanium sheathing

What makes things pleasing to our eyes, and how can the design of everything from majestic buildings to simple utilitarian structures bring delight?

  

JAPAN-10012

Kyoto, Japan

For centuries, there has been documented evidence that people have preferences for structures in the built environment and in the natural environment that have certain geometric  proportions known as the golden ratio or golden proportion.

INDIA-10689

Red Fort, New Delhi, India

  The ratio of length to width of approximately 1.618  appears not only in art and architecture, but also in natural structures.

TIBET-10911

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

 

INDIA-10708

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India

INDIA-10875

Step Well, India

 

Kimberly Elam’s book,  Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition, points out that things in nature as different as
the human body, the pine cone, and the trout all share natural proportioning systems that provide the foundation for all art, architecture, and design.

CHINA-10067

Summer Palace, Beijing, China

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is
recognition of the pattern.
 - Alfred North Whitehead, Mathemetician

 

INDIA-10997, Jodhpur, India, 2005

Jodhpur, India

  

INDIA-10620

Gujarat, India

 

INDIA-10966,  Jaipur, India, April, 2008, Final print_Novartis

Jaipur, India, 2008

 On photography and geometry:

“For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry.”
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

 

“Let no one destitute of geometry enter my doors.”  -  Plato 

 

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