André Kertész y Jacques Henri Lartigue

Two paths, one language

André Kertész (Budapest, 1894 – New York, 1985) and Jacques Henri Lartigue (Courbevoie, 1894 – Nice, 1986) were resuscitated by the MOMA in New York in the 1960s and elevated to the category of inspirational models. The Toni Catany International Photography Centre is currently hosting an exhibition with around 150 images from the body of work of Lartigue and Kertész, two pioneers of modern photography.

André Kertész and Jacques Henri Lartigue had to fight - each in his own way - to carve out a place for themselves in photography: Kertész by pursuing a dream, and Lartigue as an instrument for developing all of his sensitivity. They both constructed their work with maximal freedom and became self-taught models.

The Hungarian photographer who invented photojournalism received his first camera at the age of eighteen. When he was mobilised to fight in World War I, he decided to document the everyday life of soldiers at the front.

Later on, in 1925, he chose to leave Budapest and pursue his dream of devoting himself to photography. And what better place to do so than Paris, the epicentre of art at the time.

Kertész’s images, packed with allusions, unexpected framings, artists’ ateliers, street scenes and disadvantaged people soon began to attract attention. Between 1932 and 1933 he created his famous Distorsions series, in which the naked bodies of two models are reflected in a distorting mirror.

“A tool to express and describe my life”

Kertész always thought of himself as an amateur photographer. “I am an amateur, and I intend to remain one my whole life long. I attribute to photography the task of recording the real nature of things, their interior, their life. The photographer’s art is a continuous discovery which requires patience and time. A photograph draws its beauty from the truth with which it is marked. My photography is a visual diary. It is very much a tool, to express and describe my life”.

Kertész emigrated to New York shortly before the outbreak of World War II [...]


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