Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wonderful Colour Photographs of New York City in the 1980s by Frank Horvat

Frank Horvat was born in Italy in 1928. During World War II he moved to Switzerland where at the age of fifteen he studied photography. During the late 1940s he went back to Italy where he studied art and worked in advertising. He eventually became a freelance magazine photographer. Horvat moved to Paris and joined the Black Star agency, known for its photojournalists, in 1956. In 1957, he began his fashion career when William Klein introduced him to Jardin des Modes, one of the most adventurous fashion magazines in Europe. In 1959, Horvat joined Magnum and in 1961 he began working for Harper's Bazaar. Horvat replaced the goddess-model of the time with lively, unmade-up models (a girlish "bird" or "dolly" who could rock with the camera crew all night and display her romantic despair to the lens the next day). Following the tastes of the culture during the 1960s and 1970s, fashion photography evoked news coverage of the periods's rock concerts, with the air of authenticity that half-light and blurred, uninhibited figures conveyed. Freelancing Horvat traveled to France where he met Cartier-Bresson and Capa; Pakistan and India, and England where he worked for Life and Picture Post.

New York Up & Down is a photo project, a series of street images which Horvat shot between 1982 and 1986. The photographs were taken by using a Nikon SLR camera with Ektachrome, showing the rawness and grittiness of the city. From the presence of the yellow cabs to the crowded graffiti clad subway cars.
Between that evening in 1959 and the beginning of my project, in 1982, I came back to New York more than a hundred times, usually to do fashion photos, but in most cases only for two or three weeks. All the same, I have calculated that these trips, laid end to end, would add up to a stay of about two years, which is equivalent to the periods of my adult life that I spent in Switzerland, in Italy, in India or in England. But if they were measured by their emotional intensity, the years in New York would count twice as much… This is what I tried to convey by the words ‘up and down’. The highs and lows of New York are not just the transitions from Uptown to Downtown, from the darkness of the subway to the view from the top floors of the skyscrapers, from the temperatures in January to those in July. But also the shifts, between one day and the next and sometimes between one minute and the other, from exhilaration to disappointment, from triumph to failure, from fulfilment to defeat." - said Frank Horvat.
Now take a look at Horvat's images of New York City below and see which ones bring back memories for you.

(New York Up & Down, Photos © Frank Horvat, via Jewelry Accessories 's blog)

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