Paris, I love you!

It’s been almost two weeks since I finally moved to Paris. A beautiful and inspiring city, full of light and dreams. This is a magical lieu that has always taken a special place in my heart. And now I know why.

I dreamed of living in Paris since I first saw Romeo et Juliette, a musical by Gerard Presgurvic. I was 14 years old, and in love with french musicals.

Now I’m 25, and I live in Paris. I have a list of comédies musicales I want to visit and people I want to meet; I have the opportunity to spend the whole day in a beautiful studio in the heart of a culinary school (oh, those tartes de citron…) and learn from a very talented french photographer Mathilde de l’Ecotais.

I’ve been told that Paris only accepts those who come here and say: bitch, I’m your master! So… the master’s here, bitch! 😉

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Photographie humaniste of Robert Doisneau

The best photos, the ones that are remembered, are the ones that have first passed through the person’s mind before being restored by the camera.

Robert Doisneau

Today I ran into an article about humanist photography, a style of  French photography that was popular from 1940s until the late 1960s. The guiding principle for this movement was the central place of the human being in the everyday life.

One of the most celebrated exponents of this branch of art was Robert Doisneau (14 April 1912 – 1 April 1994).

At the age of fifteen he learned engraving and lithography, and started designing labels for drug packaging. Later, became a camera assistant at André Vigneau’s studio in 1931. He sold his first photographic story to Excelsior magazine in 1932. Robert Doisneau worked four years as an industrial advertising photographer for Renault car factory. His first professional street photographs were taken during his travel throughout France in search of picture stories for Rapho photographic agency.

During the WWII Robert Doisneau was both a soldier and photographer in the French army, and from 1940 until the end of the war in 1945 he used his skills to forge passports and identification papers for the French Resistance. He photographed the Occupation and Liberation of Paris.

After the war he returned to freelance work for Life and other leading international magazines.

Robert Doisneau died in April 1994 and left behind 450 000 negatives, each with a deep, passionate story of people, depicted there.

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Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville

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All the world’s a stage

The Fall is quite the time of changes. A new season, a new beginning, a new life.

New theatrical season usually starts in autumn and offers plenty of new fascinating plays and shows to the spectators.

I decided to collect all the interesting musical premieres that will take place this Fall in Paris’ theaters and put them in one post.

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Light painting in the City of Light

Some people may disagree with me, but I really think Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s known as Ville Lumière (the City of Light). It was one of the first cities to adopt street lighting, and it kind of marked the beginning of modern urban life. And as photography was once described as “painting with light”, I think, Paris and photography are a perfect match.

Probably, the most beautiful, magical and dreamlike photos of light in Paris were made by Brassaї. His friend, the author Henry Miller, nicknamed him “The Eye of Paris” for his devotion to the city.

Brassaї (1899–1984) was a leading member of French “school” photography, but he was born as Gyula Halász in Brașov, Transylvania, Romania, and took his pseudonym from his birthplace. He moved to Paris in 1924, where he took a job as a journalist. He wrote that he used photography “in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night.”

His first photo-book, published in 1933 and entitled Paris de nuit (Paris After Dark), remains the most famous exploration of the city’s hidden underbelly, and is considered a classic of early street photography. It was also a great technical achievement, as photographers of that era rarely took photos at night. But Brassaї invented ingenious tricks, like gauging extended exposure times by how long it took for him to smoke a Gauloises, to help him take those marvelous photos, he wanted. He called his prints his “little boxes of night” because of the richness and depth of the darkness and light in them.

Brassai also portrayed scenes from the life of the city’s high society, its intellectuals, its ballet, and the grand operas.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he was shooting commercial assignments for magazines like Harper’s Bazaar.

He cited Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec as his artistic influence, and was close to many artists: Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jean Genet etc.

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