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About the Author
Magnum Photos, established in April 1947, summoned "concerned" photojournalists to unite in defense of free expression and individual copyright in an era of nascent magazine conglomerates who demanded total ownership of their correspondents' pictures. Steeped in the euphoria of Europe's liberation from wartime terror, Magnum's founders envisioned a cooperative venture that would guarantee a truly independent media. It was this dream, tethered to the political foundations of social democracy, which brought together Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, Robert Capa, and David Seymour. More than fifty years later, the calling of Magnum's peer-selected members has not changed. They continue the struggle to represent history through the lens of personal experience, competing against all odds in an age of predatory media giants. Magnum Photos has published two books with powerHouse Books: New York September 11 (2001) and Arms Against Fury (2002); Max Kozloff, who wrote the art column for the Nation in the 1960s, and served as Executive Editor of Artforum fro, 1974-1976, has since then worked as a freelance photography critic in New York. His essays have been published in over twenty-one volumes, including Social Graces (powerHouse Books, 2001), Cultivated Impasses (Consortium, 2000), Lone Visions (University of New Mexico, 1997), and Now Becoming Then (Twin Palms, 1991), a study of Duane Michals. Most recently, Kozloff guest curated and wrote the catalogue for the exhibition New York Capital of Photography, at New York's Jewish Museum. Kozloff's photographs have been exhibited at the Holly Solomon and Marlborough galleries, New York, and museums abroad, notably the Bombay Centre for the Performing Arts. The recipient of many fellowships including the Pulitzer, an Ingram-Merrill, Guggenheim, and a Fulbright, among other awards, Kozloff lives and works in New York City.
Differing from other picture books on New York, New Yorkers: As Seen by Magnum Photographers introduces a gallery of eye-catching untamed images of the metropolis, taken by Magnum photographers. Known for their independent spirit, they proffer scenes that can best be described as bouncy, cryptic, melancholy, droll, or glamorous, often bringing these clashing possibilities together against great odds, in a single image. For these pictures to have been on target, they had to be off-kilter-as charged with contradictions as the realities of their subject. The photographers featured here come from many countries and armed with a range of purposes, united only by their membership in Magnum Photos, the renowned photo agency. As the New York Yankees are respected for the depth of their bullpen, the Magnum photographers are admired for the sharpness of their eye. Though best known for reportage of global wars and crises, they have created a New York archive of great magnitude documenting the last sixty years of New York's-and Magnum's-history. Of the roughly one hundred and forty photographs in New Yorkers, less then ten percent have been previously published. Widely published art critic Max Kozloff selected photographs these pictures more for their pungency then their unfamiliarity. Mindful of their story potentials, but with an eye to the visual rhythm of faces and gestures, he sequenced to imply various overlapping themes-for example, the fizz of parties and the momentum of streets, or the hard sell of Times Square and the anger of political demonstrations. While the images retain their original captions, they ricochet with multiple meanings. Leafing through the book is like walking the streets of New York, beguiled by their implausible and mixed energies, renewed at each turn of a corner. Through New York's cafeterias, barbershops, fish markets, subways, its fish markets, and taxi cabs, Chinese or Italian weddings, gyms, protest parades, and fancy balls, the photographers have roamed, photographing the city's denizens with a realism that stings and a wit that sparkles. Featured here is surprising work by legends Bruce Davidson, Inge