The Curious World of Andre Kertesz

Broken Plate 1929

Broken Plate by Andre Kertesz 1929

My internal batteries have been running low, so I took a trip up to the Getty Museum to see their current photography exhibits. The black and white master images by Andre Kertesz immediately caught hold of my eyeballs and would not let go.

The images feel fun, but with a sharp edge behind them, like a Halloween apple with a razor blade in it. He printed many of his images quite small, some as contact (putting the negative directly on the paper, rather than using an enlarger). These ultra small prints, the smallest just 2×3 inches, draws you in where the image – in one case a close up black and white photograph of two hands removing a large book from a library shelf – crawls into your head and splits apart into abstract shapes.

What I liked most about his images and the collection as a whole was the feeling of intention created from what seemed to be unintentional scenes. His images are surreal, though many subtly so. If that sounds like something that speaks to you, I recommend heading to the library and checking out his work. Or if you are more the type (like me) who prefers to buy there are many books with impressive reprints of his work.

My favorites are:

Andre Kertesz by Sarah Greenough
This is a HUGE book with almost all of his photographs ever along with great text about his life.


Andre Kertesz by Noel Bourcier
This one has much fewer images, though they are exquisitely printed.

I have both.


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  1. Adapting Your Photographic Vision To Environmental Conditions | Nice - a mostly positive look at the world of creative photography