A guide to the pioneering photographer forever identified with the majesty of the American West — illustrated with exceptional works offered on 10 December. Meredith Etherington-Smith looks back at the life and work of Jean-Michel Frank, and a very special design he created in Argentina. Sale Photographs: The Evening Sale.
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Prelude to the revolution
Lot Walker Evans — Price realised. Follow lot.
Add to Interests. In Evans, then thirty years old and at the start of his career, was commissioned by the publisher J.
Lippincott to create a series of photographs to illustrate a book being written by the left-wing journalist Carleton Beals. The Crime of Cuba , which appeared later that year, analyzed the politics of the U. Evans reportedly went to Cuba without ever reading the manuscript and photographed what he wanted; the result was one of his first major projects.
A sequence of thirty-one of his photographs appeared in the Beals book; these, along with about eighty other images taken during his visit to Cuba, were eventually published as Walker Evans: Havana Much of my work involves a response to historic photography , and I have created several projects centered on finding the exact locations of certain photographs and remaking them. In fact, it has become my custom to try to know a place first through the eyes of another photographer — to revisit their camera positions and in this way to ground a site physically in a past that cannot be detached from the present.
Evans concentrated less on describing physical places, although he did some of that; he was more interested in observing the way people lived. I could locate only a few of the sites where Evans had once stood, and when I did I rephotographed his views and the surrounding areas in order to contrast his Havana with the city today.
Thus the challenge for me was not simply to identify the precise scenes he chose to visit but instead to study what he chose to isolate with his camera — as a result I found myself responding to the feeling of the lived scenes his photographs create. The people are gone but their jobs and identities remain familiar — farmers, cigar workers, policemen.
Now there are also baseball players. There are pronounced differences, of course, where our experiences could not possibly cross.
cuba heritage .org - The Cuban Revolution of
Some buildings have deteriorated so badly that they are literal ruins. People sell cigars, music CDs, and miscellaneous revolutionary tchotchkes to tourists in unofficial, off-street encounters. The signs of class structure and wealth disparity are less overt, but you can see these in the hotels that cater to European tourists, some of which are run by the military. Reminders of the Castro revolution are visible everywhere — a counterpoint to the earlier regime Evans alludes to in his pictures, if only obliquely, in The Crime of Cuba.
Making Walker Evans my guide led to some obvious parallels in our experiences. Evans, for instance, made a photograph of a barber and client in a salon. One day I was invited into a barbershop by a customer getting a haircut, but saw a very different scene — it was an Afro salon with a shirtless barber.
The mirror caught my own image as witness while the man who invited me in looked on as I took a photograph. Evans spent about four weeks in Cuba and I had only one. Not much time for making a thorough study of his work, let alone Cuba. Please Subscribe or Donate. On my trip to Cuba, I accompanied a selected group of photographers who traveled under a cultural visa held by the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.
Is this a warning? A metaphor?
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