Robert Capa

Monday, October 5, 2009

Finally had time to go & see
the photo exhibition of Robert Capa
at Ludwig Museum in Budapest
The museum was so crowded
that it was not possible to go around in piece
and stand in the front of a photo for a longer time
Found the most interesting
the photos of Stalingrad
- kind of hopeless feeling,
the photos of the Normandy Landings
- shocking!
The Falling Soldier
- a Loyalist got a bullet in the Spanish Civil War,
he's just about falling down
a beautiful photo of Ingrid Bergman
Robert Capa
(Budapest, October 22, 1913 – May 25, 1954),
born Endre Ernő Friedmann
was a 20th century combat photographer and photojournalist
who covered five different wars:
the Spanish Civil War,
the Second Sino-Japanese War,
World War II across Europe,
the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and
the First Indochina War.
He documented the course of World War II in London,
North Africa, Italy,
the Battle of Normandy on Omaha Beach and
the liberation of Paris.
To Capa, technical considerations were secondary
to catching a dramatic moment.
His action photographs,
such as those taken during the 1944 Normandy invasion,
portray the violence of war with unique impact.
In 1947, Capa cofounded prestigious Magnum Photos with,
among others, the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.
The organization was the first cooperative agency
for worldwide freelance photographers.
Born of Jewish parents in Budapest, Austria-Hungary in 1913,
Capa left the country in 1932 after being arrested
because of his political involvement
with protestors against the government
(his parents had encouraged him to settle elsewhere).
Capa originally wanted to be a writer;
however, he found work in photography in Berlin
and grew to love the art.
In 1933, he moved from Germany to France
because of the rise of Nazism,
but found it difficult to find work there as a freelance journalist.
He adopted the name "Robert Capa" around this time
because he felt that it would be recognizable
and American-sounding
since it was similar to that of film director Frank Capra.
(In fact, "cápa" is a Hungarian word meaning 'shark'.)
On May 25, along with Time's press correspondent, John Mecklin,
he joins a deployment
whose aim is to destroy 2 small outposts
in the Red River delta,
20km from the road connecting Namdinh to Thaibinh.
The French convoy is repeatedly forced
to a halt by roadblocks and enemy fire.
Capa is impatient.
He gets out of the jeep
and wanders off the road onto a field
to take photographs of soldiers advancing in the high grass.
He takes one black & white
and one colour shot.
These are his last photos,
as he steps on a landmine that takes his life.
He was 41 years old.
Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art
Palace of Arts
Komor Marcell utca 1.
1095 Budapest

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