Letting Go

©André Kertész

©André Kertész

Andre Keresz was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Budapest.  Although Andre’s father was a bookseller, he pressured his children to learn about the stock exchange.  Andre’s older brother worked at the Budapest exchange his whole life, while Andre found little interest in the field.  Against his father’s wishes, Kertesz became interested in magazine illustrations and photography, and later began to study it.  As Andre grew older he became more interested and involved in photography.  At the age of 20, Andre was sent to the front lines of the Hungarian Revolution to take pictures.  That shows how much he loved what he did.  Andre Kertesz was ready to take on the world with a camera in his hand.

The photograph above, the Satiric Dancer, embodies what Andre thought photography should be.  The photograph holds meaning, movement, and angle. Andre grew up in a Jewish, pastoral setting so movement and exciting women were something he was curious about. This photograph was taken in 1926 in Paris.  The woman laying on the couch is wearing a black dance costume.  She seems to be in a euphoric state with a slight grin on her face and her eyes closed.  Her arms and legs point in every direction.  She represents Paris at the time.  Paris was, at the time, the center for photography.  Paris was fun and artistic, yet graceful and beautiful.  Andre captures it all in this photograph.

Another aspect of the photograph that draws the eye, is the juxtaposition of the girls position and the statue.  Both are twisting and turning.  Both showing different motions in a still photograph.  It is impressive how Andre can make one see the statue and woman move in a picture.  What is even more amusing is the how he can make that happen when the room feels claustrophobic.  It feels that way because the statue’s table is touching the couch in this small corner of a room. But, the movement expands it.  Andre says of the photo, “People in motion are wonderful to photograph. It means catching the right moment — the moment when something changes into something else.”  Andre Kertesz is such a great photographer because he understood how to capture the best moments.  Andre coming from a middle-class Jewish home knew the value of things, whether it be a dollar or a photograph. Andre only took two shots to capture this photograph.  He said he didn’t like wasting the roll of film.  He knew he had the photograph he wanted, and he knew it had meaning.




Kertesz Quote:

“ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985) | Satiric Dancer, Paris, 1926 | Photographs Auction | 1920s, Photographs | Christie’s.” Christie’s Auctions Private Sales | Fine Art, Antiques, Jewelry & More | Christie’s . N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/photographs/andre-kertesz-satiric-dancer-paris-1926-5067449-details.aspx>.

Took the photo from:

“Flaminio Gualdoni » Blog Archive » André Kertész.” Flaminio Gualdoni . N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://flaminiogualdoni.com/?p=4364>.