Paul Strand New York Street Portrait
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1917 Print Date 1917
Dimensions 8-7/8 x 6-3/4 in. (225 x 171 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
The final two issues of Camera Work were illustrated with images by newcomer, Paul Strand. For the first time these gravures, printed on a heavier stock in the last issue, have come to represent a turning point in the history of the medium--the straight, modernist photograph. Stieglitz described Strand's images in this way: "The work is brutally direct. Devoid of flim-flam; devoid of trickery and any 'ism'; devoid of any attempt to mystify an ignorant public, including the photographers themselves. These photographs are the direct expression of today." See: Margolis, Alfred Stieglitz, Camera Work: A Pictorial Guide (Dover and the George Eastman House, 1978), p.138.
In order to catch people in totally candid states, Strand attached a false lens to his camera that lay perpendicular to the real one. While he would appear to passersby to aim the camera in one direction, he would conceal the actual lens under his arm, allowing for stealth portraits of unguarded subjects.
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