All images used with the expressed permission of Magnum Photos.
For only a few days, Magnum Photos is having a special 70th anniversary photo sale. It’s called the Square Print sale, and for a period of five days, folks can purchase a signed 6×6 museum quality Magnum Photo print for only $100. If you’ve had a chance to visit the ICP exhibit, you’ll have seen some of the prints up close and personal.
To get a chance to snag your own print, you can visit the Magnum Photos Print Shop. More details are in the press release below.
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” Magnum co-founder Robert Capa famously said. The Picture Post (December 3, 1938) described Capa as “the greatest war photographer in the world” when he was just 25. His maxim has become almost as famous as his body of work, which continues to influence generations of photographers.
Today, Magnum Photos revisits Robert Capa’s phrase and examines what it means to ‘get closer’, for the June 2017 Square Print Sale. This project is part of a cycle of four Square Prints Sales to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the agency, investigating the legacy of Magnum’s co-founders Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, David ‘Chim’ Seymour and George Rodger and how their work continues to inform and influence photography to the present day.
Examining the theme through a wide interpretation of Capa’s maxim, this project explores whether getting closer makes better images, and if so, why? What does proximity mean in photographic terms? Capa also said, “the truth is the best picture, the best propaganda” – does getting closer mean getting closer to the truth and how is this relevant today?
Through images and texts, re-definitions of the ‘closer’ theme are at the heart of this collective body of work by Magnum photographers. Encompassing both classic and contemporary practices, the square print project includes photographs of history-defining moments such as Stuart Franklin’s Tank Man image from Tiananmen Square (1989), Robert Capa’s D-Day series (1944), and Abbas’s Iranian Revolution coverage (1979), alongside work from contemporary masters of photojournalism Matt Black, Paolo Pellegrin, Diana Markosian and Lorenzo Meloni.
Martin Parr’s contribution defines what it means to come closer to his subjects with his lens, whilst other photographers define proximity as intimacy, showing highly personal work, such as Larry Towell, Antoine d’Agata, Christopher Anderson and Alessandra Sanguinetti. The relationship between proximity and street photography is explored, in particular through a photograph from Bruce Davidson’s Subway series, and an iconic image from Alex Webb’s long-term work in Mexico. David Hurn remembers how he got close to The Beatles during the filming of A Hard Day’s Night.
The powerful visual authorship in these photographs defines Magnum and its continued engagement with the stories that matter, demonstrating why photography remains so important today.