Robert Frank – Paris

In between things in Philly this week, I picked up a copy of Steidl’s publication (2008) Robert Frank – Paris, which is the Swiss photographers work made in Paris between 1949 – 1952, before finally settling in the US and creating The Americans.

And funny, I was walking past the section of books that were the big photographic books about the wonderful cities and countrysides of US and Euorpe and I spied this little book tucked amongst them and the photographers name just jumped out. This book was filed in the wrong section, and it was going to be a long time probably before it sold, because it sure was not one of the colorful picturesqe books of Paris like all of those surrounding it. I found that funny, worthly of a picture if I had a camera.

Essentially this is a retrospective body of work that Frank made while attempting to become established in Paris, which is where he really wanted to be. But he could get work in the US, but not in Paris, thus the US won out.

So I have not heard much about this book, but I am interested in these photographs, to see if that photogrpahic eye that is very evident in the The Americans is also present earlier. Of course, to see what Frank might have been drawn from his collection of photographs for publication in 1954 is a much different case of re-editing the body of work for publication in 2007-8.

Frank has also called this body of work, the “Old World”, as Europe and Paris exsisted after World War II. So I have this tucked away to read on my flight back to Southern California later this week. nice.

Best regards, Doug

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