"The moment always dictates in my work…Everybody can look, but they don't necessarily see… I see a situation and I know that it's right."
by André Kertész.
Andre Kertesz was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1894 and died in New York in 1985. He is one of the world’s leading photographers who ‘influenced a subsequent generation of photographers including Man Ray, Brassai, Maholy Nagy and Cartier-Bresson’.( 2007, Phillips de Pury & Company) Kertesz said “The subject offered itself to me and I took advantage” (PhotoQuotes.com, 2011) As he asserted, he took photos which tell stories and always believe he needed to be invisible which is process of taking pictures by waiting until the right moment to capture what photographers pursue or want while taking photos.
Underwater Swimmer, Esztergom, 1917, André Kertész
“Underwater Swimmer” which was taken in 1917 is one of his most famous oeuvres, when he was injured during the war. He took this photograph when he stayed in the hospital, and just wanted to capture photos of distortion. Because of water the man’s body looks distorted. Even though he took distorted photos, the important thing was he didn’t manipulate photos to make his work better. After that time, he took lots of distortion pictures and it impacted on other photographers.
This picture was taken by Cameron Stephen. He captured photo of distortion through the mirror. It is interesting that everything is distorted but the tree and invisible parts in the biggest distortion mirror are visible in that mirror below. I believe similarity between Kertesz and Stephen, other than that the images are distorted, that every element of reality is still reflected in the images and tell their story in a distorted way.
Kertesz’s oeuvres were inspired by the ideas of artists around him, and his photos became more refined. He recorded every event happening around him and every moment of his life. “My work is inspired by my life. I express myself through my photographs. Everything that surrounds me provokes my feeling” (Shooting the truth, Iccevska)
Little Girl, 1939, Andre Kertesz
“Little Girl” which was shot in 1939 after he moved to United States. We can see the girl is really excited and happy to be around the penguin. When I saw this picture, it made me smile, and I felt his power of photo. He always wanted to express Happiness to people through his photos.
This picture also was taken by Cameron Stephen. We can see girl’s smile face and feel happy same as Kertesz photo. I think the similarity between those two photos is capturing from photographers life, and picture can reflect their life. Below two photos can find same similarity which subject is inspired by photographer’s circumference.
Boy reading newspaper, 1944, Andre Kertesz
“Boy reading newspaper” which was taken in 1944, shows that how he is good at portraying the reality. Kertesz took a picture of boys who read newspaper on the street while he was walking on the street. In his picture we can see he is trying to project probably a homeless kid probably setting up his bed. We don’t know whether he was homeless kid or not. However, he tried to inform about agony at that time by showing a kid on the streets.
Jacob Riis, Children sleeping in Mulberry Street http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAriis1.jpg
Those picture were taken by Jacob Riis. He took pictures of kids who were sleeping on the street. Same as Kertesz, the Jacob Riis and tried to report the social issue around him. Both two photographers preserve and showed their photographs without staging or creating moment to people.
Kertesz said “Everything is a subject. Every subject has a rhythm. To feel it is the raison d’être. The photograph is a fixed moment of such a raison d’être, which lives on in itself.” (PhotoQuotes.com, 2011) The most important aspect of those photographs is that he captured moment whatever he saw without changing it in anyway.
The Fork, or La Fourchette, 1928, Andre Kertesz
“The Fork” which was taken in 1928 is one of his most famous oeuvres, during the French period of his career when he moved to Paris. Both a fork and a plate are common utensil which used as tools for eating everyday in our lives. However, Andre Kertesz used those utensils as a subject of his photograph so that people can get more deeply inspiration from it. He portrayed our lives emotion such as busy and empty through a fork’s shadow. The shadow also described viewer’s attention. For using utensil as a subject of photograph is not usual, but photographer has benefit of taking same picture every moment because the subjects are objects not human.
Below photos are taken by people who are not professional.
I believe this is what Kertész meant by saying “My work is inspired by my life. I express myself through my photographs. Everything that surrounds me provokes my feeling”(Shooting the truth, Iccevska)
DanilovicSandra. “Week 10, KerteszCartier-Bresson From Shooting The Truth by Gordana Iccevska.” MODULE 10. Retrieved from http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzaG9vdGluZ3RoZXRydXRofGd4OjRmNDAzZGZlNjZmMDhkYmE
Philipsartexpert. 2007. Andre-kertesz-distortion-no-40-paris. Retrieved from
Photographynow. 2011. Andre Kertesz. Retrieved from http://www.photography-now.net/listings/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=363&Itemid=334
Photoquotes.com. 2010. Retrieved from http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzaG9vdGluZ3RoZXRydXRofGd4OjRmNDAzZGZlNjZmMDhkYmEhttp://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzaG9vdGluZ3RoZXRydXRofGd4OjRmNDAzZGZlNjZmMDhkYmE