Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by beepy, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. I stumbled across an interesting HCB quote on this workshop web page:
    `Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.` Henri Cartier-Bresson​
    Hmmmmmm.... Somebody, maybe even HCB, has a sense of humor?
     
  2. It was really a joke.
    From Newsweek:
    It was Newsweek's radical idea to have Helmut Newton, known for his erotic and extremely composed photographs, shoot a portrait of Cartier-Bresson, master of the wholly natural Decisive Moment. Cartier-Bresson loathes having his picture taken, and when he must, he insists the photographer be a member of Magnum, the cooperative he cofounded half a century ago. Newton is not.
    Yet they met up in Paris last week for the shoot. "He looked good, very good,? says Newton, 83. ?He did everything I wanted, and was so sweet. I shot two rolls in color because he has very beautiful blue eyes, and four of black-and-white, because, being Cartier-Bresson, it has to be black-and-white.? Though their approaches are so different, Newton has long admired Cartier-Bresson. ?His pictures are about truth,? Newton says. ?Real people, like the picnic by the Marne. I like that one best.? They first encountered each other 25 or 30 years ago, in a Paris cafe. ?I felt he turned his nose up at me,? Newton recalls. A few years later Newton said in a television interview that, although he loved Cartier-Bresson?s work, he believed the feelings were not mutual. Soon after, Newton received a postcard from Cartier-Bresson. It read: ?I like you very much.?
    Newton finally saw Cartier-Bresson again last year, when Vanity Fair asked Cartier-Bresson to shoot a portrait of Newton for a portfolio by photographers older than 80. Cartier-Bresson invited Newton and his wife, June (known by her nom de camera, Alice Springs), for lunch at his flat in the rue de Rivoli. Then they walked to a nearby park to take the picture. ?He had his little Leica,? Newton remembers, ?and he simply would point and shoot.? Since Cartier-Bresson?s hand isn?t as steady as it used to be, some of the pictures were a bit fuzzy. ?Sharpness is a bourgeois concept,? he told Newton. Newton sits back and laughs: ?I thought that was just divine.?

    -rogersm
     
  3. I thought he said "I have discovered painting, now I can die". Just kidding, folks.
     
  4. "A few years later Newton said in a television interview that, although he loved Cartier-Bressons work, he believed the feelings were not mutual. Soon after, Newton received a postcard from Cartier-Bresson. It read: I like you very much.?"

    Ha. A superbly precise put down. Cartier-Bresson responded that he like Newton. He did NOT respond saying he liked his work!
     
  5. I thought the HCB riposte was playful and affectinate, not a witty putdown. At that point I'm sure he knew Newton wouldn't take it amiss.

    I wonder what was different from Newton's taking his snaps and David Duncan. I remember some flap concerning some portrait snaps DDD took during a visit.
     
  6. HCB was quoted again on
    the front page of today's NYT:

    http://www.nytimes.com/pages/pageone/scan/index.html
     

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