Yesterday I took a short walk to the Photographer's Gallery to catch a sight of Saul Leiter's retrospective.
by Théo Dufaÿ
Born the son of a Rabbi in 1923 and destined to walk his father's footsteps, he instead decided at the age of 23 to fly to New York and become a painter. It's only when he discovered Cartier-Bresson's work that he realised photographs could be pieces of art too.
I liked how his appreciation for painting, and particularly abstract expressionism, echoes in his photography. His prints feel like they are the results of superimposing layers of colour and textures, much like a painting or a collage.
His pictures are glimpses of the New York city life and Leiter seems guided by instinct, much like his master Cartier-Bresson. But unlike in Bresson's work, nothing particularly out of the ordinary ever happens in the shot. Instead, the striking nature of his art comes from how he literally frames the mundane. I loved how through the use of abstract and multiple foregrounds, mirrors and windows, he seems to portray humans in transit, caught (if not trapped) in the vortex of a supercity's routine.
Go check it out before the 3rd of April.