Yesterday that was all I could say. I felt like I had been breathing in the essence of photography. A bit like pure oxygen, it left me slightly light headed and a little euphoric. Why? I went to the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at SFMoMA with my mother and her boyfriend , and it was incredible.
Room after room of amazing black and white prints, gorgeously composed. After about one or two rooms I kind of got it. I started to abstract his photos in my head into the lines they were made up of. Triangles, diagonals, one photo I remember clearly was arranged like a kite: a rhombus of four gentlemen sitting at a table in the foreground, and then a line leading us into the background. And of course, the images are not pure exercises in geometry. They all captured a moment that meant something probably to the world and then also something intensely personal to the subject.
We all know of HCB as the coiner of 'the decisive moment'. But he was also an excellent portraitist. In particular I loved his portrait of Camus, and his photo of Coco Chanel I found quite insightful as well.
The exhibit runs until January 30 and I whole-heartedly recommend it. There's something about seeing the prints in person that just can't be experienced seeing images on the web. If you live anywhere near San Francisco, you have no excuse.
I took these at the museum. It's a gorgeous space. Processed in B&W as kind of an homage to HCB. They don't hold a candle to his work, as they are not as personal or arresting. But I thought I'd post them anyway.