“It’s a good thing not to go back in your life.” -Robert Frank, 2016
Robert Frank and The Americans
A retrospective of Robert Frank’s work is now at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. At 91, I have to agree with his thoughts about going back in your life, there is just too much and not enough time.
I have always admired his book The Americans (1958). Born in Switzerland, he came to America in 1946, after WWII and with the perception of America as “the” place to be. Robert Frank was greatly influenced by Walker Evans and in 1955 he traveled across the United States photographing its people in their places. What Frank found was the contrast of wealth and culture with poverty and race. His work ended up being much like Walker Evan’s view of America chronicled in American Photo-graphs (1938). Although his style was very different, since he deviated from traditional photographic constraints and was much maligned in critical reviews. This style soon became the norm for photo-journalists, made possible, in part by smaller cameras.
The retrospective runs until February 11, 2016, There will also be screenings of his documentary films.