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About the Author
Brassaï (1899-1984) is one of the great figures of twentieth-century photography. Born in Brasso, Hungary, he studied at the academies of Budapest before moving to Paris in 1924. Initially interested in painting, he turned to photography in the early thirties at the suggestion of fellow Hungarian André Kertész. He published his first book, Paris by Night, in 1933, which granted him recognition as a peerless chronicler of the city. At this time Brassaï also became interested in graffiti and shared his discoveries with the Surrealist circles he frequented. Actively pursued throughout his career, his work on graffiti was brought together for the first time in the eponymous publication in 1960, following exhibitions of his work in New York, London, Milan, Baden, Frankfurt, Hanover and Paris. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Brassaï became interested in the marginal art form of graffiti in the 1930s, seeing it as a form of outsider art that could open the door to new forms of artistic expression. His atmospheric photographs capture the essence of this unfettered creation. Stark contrasts of black and white alternate with softer shades of grey that meld into one another, smoothing the harsh gouges typical of graffiti. Several of these photographs first appeared in the Surrealist review Minotaure; others were first published in France and Germany in 1960, in a work entitled Graffiti, which accompanied an exhibition that visited New York, London, Milan, Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Hannover, and Paris. The approach was hugely influential, both for the Surrealists and in the domain of Outsider Art. Accompanying the photographs are selections from previously unpublished writings, including extracts from Brassaï's own notebooks, in which he noted the presence of elements of graffiti on the walls of Paris that he intended to photograph. The book also contains an interview with Picasso on the subject of graffiti as an art form. This first English language version of this classic title is a beautifully produced edition of what is undoubtedly a seminal work in the history of modern photography.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.