Richard Kalvar

About a year ago, I first saw this image by Richard Kalvar.

It encapsulated a few of my favorite things about photographs taken on the street, but mainly, it just got stuck in my head. I had no idea who the photographer was until last week. Came across a few more of his photos and realized that he was a Magnum photographer. Was president of Magnum, even.

When I think of street photography, I think of stuff like this:

If you like black and white street work from the 70s, check out his archive, or just try this one, this totally insane one, this one, this one, or this one. Perhaps it’s my perception, but I don’t understand why Kalvar isn’t more well known.

(None of the above links work thanks to Magnum’s site redesign. Awesome!)

6 thoughts on “Richard Kalvar”

  1. Because all of his books have been published in French… he doesn’t show up in amazon, the UC library system, LINK+… a few copies of “L’Usine” on abebooks. tsk

  2. He currently has an exhibition in Paris, at the Maison de la Photographie, with about 90 prints. Very highly recommended. And there’s a book on sale with all of them called “les Terriens”.

  3. Hi, I just happened to bump into your site. It’s true that I currently have a show at the MEP in Paris and that my book has come out in French. The English language edition, called “Earthlings” will be published by Flammarion in the UK in April and in the US in September. By the way, I didn’t stop photographing in the 70’s; more than half of the pictures in the show and the book are from after 1980.

  4. The piece about Richard Kalvar in Magnum Stories is incredible. I like how he tells of his disinterest in photography when he grew up, because of how manipulated it was in Life magazine in the 50’s. His use of a wide angle lens is genius and he is right it does force you to get closer. It is obvious from his work that he does have flow, heart, and a quick reaction to his surroundings which is key in capturing the image. In Magnum Stories he talks of what it is like to photograph in places where you blend in and how difficult it is to do it in situations or even countries where you stick out. I admire his work. I do have a similar take on letting yourself go and just shooting the scene and that is when the best shots seem to really happen.

  5. I recently discovered him and I love his work…it’s brillant. He always takes pictures of the most random things. I love all of his work.

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