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Louis Faurer

This book is the first in fifteen years to present the largely overlooked work of Louis Faurer, who depicted the melancholy streets of New York in the 1940s and ’50s, and whom Walter Hopps has described as a “master of his medium.” Faurer initially worked for fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar in New York, but soon focused his eye on the enchanting city itself: “Everywhere a new discovery awaited me.” Here Faurer made poetic, darkly romantic images of the characters of the street, often the poor and lonely amidst the bustle of Times Square during what he called its “hypnotic dusk light.” Inspired by Walker Evans, Faurer developed a personal, highly empathetic vision, comparable to that of Robert Frank, with whom he shared a loft and darkroom in his early New York days. Faurer solidified his ironic, brooding aesthetic in the ’50s, often employing graphic contrasts, reflections and distortions which show the influence of film noir and deepen his exploration of the psychology of the individual – “My eyes search for people who are grateful for life, people who forgive and whose doubts have been removed, who understand the truth, whose enduring spirit is bathed by such piercing light as to provide their present and future with hope.” I have an intense desire to record life as I see it, as I feel it. As long as I’m amazed and astonished, as long as I feel that events, messages, expressions and movements are all shot through with the miraculous, I’ll feel filled with the certainty I need to keep going. When that day comes, my doubts will vanish. Louis Faurer

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