As a young eager photographer some 17 years ago, I remember discovering André Kertész photographs in a book in the library. His work inspired me and his timeless photographs have stayed with me over the years. In a visual world with millions of images and moments captured, Kertesz’s work continues to inspire and humble.
“The moment always dictates in my work….Everybody can look, but they don’t necessarily see….I see a situation and I know that it’s right. ”
–André Kertész | b. 1894 Hungary, d.| 1985 New York City | photographer
André Kertész bought his first camera and made his first photograph while working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange in 1912. After years of amateur snapshot photography in his native Hungary, he moved to Paris in 1925 and began a career as a freelance photographer. There the young transplant, speaking little French, took to the streets, wandering, observing, and developing his intimate approach to imagemaking. He also met and began to photograph other artists, including Brassaï.
From 1933 to 1936 Kertész published three books of his own photographs. Immigrating to the United States in 1936, he settled in New York, where he earned his living photographing architecture and interiors for magazines such as House and Garden. It was not until he retired from commercial work at age sixty-eight that Kertész was free to focus again on the more personal subjects that had delighted him as an amateur.