Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Henri Cartier-Bresson at MOMA

Back in 2006, I went to see Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition of his days in far east at FOAM, I love his work (then again, who doesnt?). HCB has this knack of capturing one frame saturated with so much essence, yet it's honest and beautiful. So, if you happen to be in New York between now and June, it's a good idea to visit MOMA, as they have 300 pictures from all era at the moment.

I found out the other day that his first wife was a Javanese dancer, Ratna Mohini, nee Carolina Jeanne de Souza-Ijke. From what I've read so far, she's a Eurasian, claiming she had ancestry from the House of Banten, West Java. It was through his wife connection that HCB was introduced to Gandhi, less than an hour before Gandhi assassination. Gandhi's funeral picture gave HCB his international recognition. Ratna married HCB for 30 years before their divorce in 1967. HCB then married Martine Franck a Belgian photographer in 1970. Martine is also a Magnum photographer in her own right.

As he married women from two completely different cultural backgrounds, I wonder, looking at all of his pictures if the influence of both women were visible. After all they say our environment influenced us.

1 comment:

colson said...

Wow, we may have unknowingly met in the FOAM in January '06 ...