Viviane Sassen

Don’t ask, just look.

Images by photographer Viviane Sassen taken in Pikin Slee, Suriname.

We come alive.

Amando Fuchsia




Almando Blue


She also does this..



Today we’re inspired by the work of Numen / For Use called Tape Paris, currently installed at the Palais de Tokyo till 11 January 2015.

An immersive artwork that spans  the front entrance-way of the Palais, it only allows the viewer to experience as much as they dare to. Crawl thorough it, walk at full height, look from afar, above or below; the feeling of being inside the outside, pervades at all levels.

Tape / Paris

Tape / Paris

Tape Paris is a version of what has been several other Tape cities, and is part of the exhibition Inside, an exploration of ‘a passage to the interior of the self, for which the exhibition space serves as a metaphor.’ That’s what Palais de Tokyo say; we think it works!

All images borrowed with thanks!

André Kertész: Shadow Play

If André Kertész (1894 – 1985) had followed his family’s wishes, he would have been a stock broker his entire working life, and the world would have been bereft of his experimental and unorthodox contributions to photography.

And even when he did make a name for himself, he was often told that his photographs ‘spoke’ too much, as the editors of Life magazine told him in 1937.

But Kertész knew what he wanted to do and what he was good at, and after teaching himself photography at an early age, he went on to photograph the local Hungarian countryside, his experiences in the trenches during World War I, and later on when he moved to the U.S., his experiments with shadows and distortion mirrors.

Kertész sadly never achieved the critical acclaim and fame he desired for most of his career, and his struggles to speak English and be accepted by critics and audiences let him feeling excluded for most of his life. Kertész was also criticised for being more of a spectator than a commentator in his images, and his photographs being apolitical didn’t work in his favour during the two World Wars. However despite the absence of any strong comments or accolades from critics, Kertész is still considered to be the father of photojournalism and many years later his images still inspire with their simplicity and timelessness.

André Kertész | <i>T</i>
The Blind Violinist, Abony, Hungary, 1921


Paris, On the Quai near Saint Michel, 1926


Mondrian’s Glasses and Pipe, Paris, 1926 © Estate of André Kertész
Mondrian’s Glasses and Pipe, Paris, 1926


Andre Kertesz
Fork, Paris, 1928


Broken Plate 1929
Broken Plate, 1929


Paris, After School in the Tuileries, 1930


Clock of the Académie Française, Paris, 1932


Distortion #30, Paris, 1933


 © André Kertész
Ballet, New York City, 1938


André Kertész | <i></i>
Washington Square, New York, 1954


© André Kertész
Disappearing Act, 1955


 © André Kertész
Martinique, 1972


For more on André Kertész

Dali’s Moustache

We featured Philippe Halsman’s iconic jump images last week, but we could only let a few days go by before we brought up his series on Dali’s moustache.

Halsman and Salvador Dali were very close in that they both tried to push the boundaries of perception and imagination, as far as science and existing technology would allow. They also both escaped to the U.S. from Paris in the early 1940’s, and left the war behind to reach New York barely a few months apart from each other. Having frequented nearly the same localities in Paris, it was strange that they had never met, and sheer serendipity that they got together in New York for what is considered to be one of the most intense and ambitious collaborations between an artist and a photographer over 37 years.

Such was their relationship that Halsman has been quoted as saying – Whenever I needed a striking protagonist for one of my wild ideas, Dali would graciously oblige. Whenever Dali thought of a photograph so strange that it seemed impossible to produce, I tried to find a solution.

We are delighted to present our favourites from Dali’s Moustache, a 1954 publication of 36 different views of the artist’s moustache that Halsman captured

Along with being a remarkable portrait photographer with 101 Life magazine covers to his credit, and jump images of nearly every US celebrity of his time, we’re inspired by Halsman’s ability to hit the nail on the head when he says that ‘ a true portrait is the image which reveals most completely both the exterior and the interior of the subject. A true portrait should, today and a hundred years from today, be the testimony of how this person looked and what kind of human being he was.’

We couldn’t agree more.


The Non-Conforming Martin Parr


Martin Parr, one of our favourite photographers, never fails to capture those aspects of being British that are especially endearing.

Here are a selection of his images (some we’ve featured before) from ‘The Non-Conformists‘, a body of black and white images taken from the 1970’s when Parr moved out of London to settle down in the little mill town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.
That the photographer dotes on his subjects is clearly visible,
that he captures the moment you think no one is watching, is his skill,
and that he makes the pomp and scone loving British more lovable, is his art.

Mayor of Todmorden’s inaugural banquet. 1977


Halifax. Steep Lane Baptist Chapel buffet lunch. 1976


Todmorden. Jubilee Celebrations. Street Parties. 1977


Calderdale. Hebden bridge. Lord Savile has just shot a grouse. 1975-1980


Halifax. West Vale Park. Three local chapels combine to have an outdoor service. 1975


Todmorden. Mankinholes Methodist Chapel. 1975


Sowerby Bridge Mouse Show. St John’s Ambulance rooms. 1978


Crimsworth Dean Methodist Chapel. Chris is another natural rebel who finds it hard to enjoy Sunday School at the Chapel. 1975-1980


Crimsworth Dean Methodist Chapel. 1975


Some of the congregation making there way to the Crimsworth Dean Chapel Anniversary. 1975


Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou


We recently came across the haunting images of Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou at the Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America exhibition which is currently on view at the Saatchi Gallery. Though all the photographers featured deserve mention when art from these regions is referenced, Agbodjelou’s images made us halt in our tracks.

One of the prominent photographers from Porto Novo in Benin, his work borrows from both the modern and the traditional, and throws light on how the world seeing Africa, leads it to see itself. Featuring dramatic masked Egungun figures, bare breasted women, and a colonial style backdrop in some of the images, Agbodjelou references both the history and the ritualism that cloud our gaze when we look at this continent. At the same time his images stand as testament to how Africa has embraced and shared those aspects of its culture that are rich and unique, while blending in with other social and cultural aspects that the globalised world favours.

Untitled triptych (Demoiselles de Porto-Novo series), 2012


Untitled triptych (Demoiselles de Porto-Novo series), 2012


Untitled (Demoiselles de Porto-Novo series), 2012


<em>Untitled (Egungun series)</em>, 2012
Untitled (Egungun series), 2012


<em></em>, 2012
Untitled (Egungun series), 2012


Untitled (Vodou Series), 2011


Untitled (Vodou Series), 2011


<em>Untitled (Musclemen series)</em>, 2012
Untitled (Musclemen series), 2012


<em>Untitled (Musclemen series)</em>, 2012
Untitled (Musclemen series), 2012


Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America
2 April – 2 November 2014

Saatchi Gallery

Philippe Halsman: Jump


Capturing an image of someone jumping is really harder than it seems. You are most likely to have made several attempts with the ‘jumpee’ losing energy and enthusiasm with each successive take. But Philippe Halsman seems to have mastered the art especially when you begin to ask every famous personality you meet to pose for a jump shot. Since in the very act of jumping, the jumpee’s attention is mostly directed to the act of jumping, the mask they usually carry tends to fall away. The end result is a brilliant show of limbs and smiles.

Halsman counted Albert Einstein among his close friends and even took the famous Einstein portrait that featured on the cover of TIME in 1999. He worked with Salvador Dali and Alfred Hitchcock and was even lucky enough to have Marilyn Monroe pose for him. His adult life began quite dramatically when at 22 he was accused of murdering his father while they were out on a hike. Later released from prison he soon had to escape Europe to get away from the war. Moving to the US, he made a name for himself as an expert portrait photographer and had his images feature in many a Life and Vogue spread.

We’re inspired by the poise in his jumps and by the fact that though essentially the same action, no two images are alike.

Actress Eva Marie Saint. 1954


American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1958


American Federal Appeals Judge Learned Hand, 1957


Grace Kelly and Philippe Halsman


Marilyn Monroe and Phillipe Halsman, 1959


American pianist Liberace, 1954


Actress Kim Novak


Audrey Hepburn, 1955


Sophia Loren, 1955


Spanish painter Salvador Dali,”Dali Atomicus.” 1948


The American Vice President Richard Nixon, 1959


The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, 1958


American actors Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, 1951


Phillipe Halsman


If you like Halsman’s jumps, check out his 1959 Jump Book that features 178 photographs of jumping celebrities. There’s also a movie Jump that’s based on the murder mystery that surrounds his father’s death.