Photographers To Know: Frank Horvat

September 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

 

Paris, Shoe and Eiffel Tower A, 1974

I have recently been reading about the history of photography as part of an effort to broaden my horizon beyond just taking (and posting) pictures.  I am taking a break from my normal practice of writing a blog post that highlights some of my photos to shine the spotlight on one of them that I really like and feel that others should know: Frank Horvat.

I am not an expert on Mr. Horvat and will just quote the introduction to the article on him from Wikipedia before moving on the the good stuff - his pictures!

According to Wikipedia, "Frank Horvat is a photographer born on April 28, 1928 in Abbazia (Italy), now Opatija (Croatia), presently living and working in France. He is best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid 50’s and the end of the 80’, but his photographic opus includes photojournalism, portraiture, landscape, nature and sculpture. In 1988, he produced a major book of interviews with fellow photographers (such as Don McCullin, Robert Doisneau, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, Marc Riboud). At the beginning of the 90’s, he was one of the first to experiment with Photoshop. In 1998, he replaced his professional equipment with a compact camera, which he always carries in his pocket, in order to shoot anything, at any moment that seems to him of some interest. In 2011, he put online his first iPad application (Horvatland)." He also has a web site where you can learn more about him.

Jardin des Modes, Paris Metro, 1958

This photo always confuses me, but in a good way. Why do the women in the photo have their mouths open like this? Are they singing? Are they really surprised that the doors have closed? Are they yelling at Horvat to meet them at the next station? Are the complaining because they haven't been paid?

 

Gare Saint Lazare, Paris 1959

This was the first Horvat photo that I remember seeing and I thought it really struck me.  I am a train geek, so being in a train station is always good, but what I really loved was the sense of movement and energy flowing around the few islands of calm.  Having the people standing still really accentuated the movement of the others.  The signs at the top established where the photo was taken and gave it a sense of place.

 

For Vogue France, 1974

I just love the angle of this one and the looks on the faces of each of the men.  Like his photo on the Metro it raises interesting and unanswerable questions for me:  Who the men? What is in the bottle? Where are they?

 

Bar scene, Place Pigalle, Paris, 1956

I have what may be the craziest reason ever for liking a photo: her crushed nose.  The fact that her nose is crushed against his face makes the photo seem (to me, at least) much more realistic and authentic.  It is the way two friends greet each other, not like a staged bizou between two models.

 

If you like these photos, please also see Anthony Luke's blog posting on Mr. Horvat.

Finally, Mr. Hotvat, if you happen to stumble across this blog post, please forgive my totally incomplete and superficial description of your many decades of photography and your substantial influence on the art.

 

If you want to see my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.


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