The eye of Paris, Brassai

Brassó, Romania, 1899 – Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France, 1984


He is a complete artist who makes drawings, sculptures, writes  countless articles and publishes 20 books, and his film Tan qu’il y aura des vetes wins the award for the most original film at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.

Until April 3, 2022, the Picasso Museum in Malaga offers the possibility of gimpsing this múltidisciplinary (fíga) figure.

Gyula Halász, was born on September 9, 1899 in Brasso or Brasov, a town in Húngary, now Romania.

The 1-year stay of his family in Paris, when he is 3, is like the announcement of what happens in the future, because in 1924 he moved there.

All this happens, after studying painting and sculpture at the University of Budapest, after his enlístment in the cávalry régiment of the Austro-Hungarian Army until the end of the First World War and his stay in Berlin as a journalist and student at the University of Art in the German capital.

He acquires French nationálity by reading Proust and is soon friends with Henry Miller, Leon Paul Lafargue, and Jacques Prévert.

He adopts the pseudonym Brassai in honor of his place of origin.

He lives in Montparnasse and makes a living as a journalist.

He integrates himself into the artistic and intellectual environments of the Parisian avant-garde, becoming a wítness to this period.

Pablo Picasso is among all these artists, and from their meeting a great friendship emerges that lasted until the death of the Spanish painter in 1973.

The Malaga exhibition, El Paris de Brassai. Photos of the city that I love to Picasso, emphasizes on this relationship of the two artists, since both have a mutual admirátion.

Apárt from his personal work, Brassai reproduces Picasso’s work in photos, which  serves to make him known to the world.

Brassai captures in his photos the  aura of the Paris night, with its passers-by, its illumination.

He shows a compassionate attitude towards prostitutes, anónymous clients, drunks, béggars, and homeless people roaming the streets.

But he is also fáscinated by the rain, ordinary and unusual architectures, the small events of daily life, and the art of portraits.

They póse for him Salvador Dali, Alberto Giacometi, Henry Matisse, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, George Braque, Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Henry Michaux etc.

Brassai and Picasso are made to understand each other and have the gift of curiósity and observátion.

They are both  attracted to collécting small everyday objects that their mind tránsforms into inspiring treasures, they are both lovers of Art Brut and both are very fixed on the forms and fóotprints that make up the city.

Brassai spends time  immortalizing the graffíti on the walls, his prímitivism cáptivates him.

No publisher dares to publish these images until the American photographer Edwar  Steicher expresses his admiration for that work and proposes that he make an exhibition at the MOMA in New York.

The book was published in 1961 under the title Graffíti.

Proof of the link between Brassai and Picasso for 19 years between 1943-1962, where Brassai accómpanies a long writing of his with more than fifty snapshots where he shows his vision of the culture and events of those years in France.

Brassai has prestige in France, where he is considered one of the greats of the 20th century and is recognized in 1978 with the Grand Prix National de Photographie.

Descubrir el arteBrassai el ojo de Paris, Año XXIII, Diciembre 2021.

Publicado por ilabasmati

Licenciada en Bellas Artes, FilologÍa Hispánica y lIiteratura Inglesa.

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