A NEW Square Print Project launched by Magnum Photos celebrates the legacy of Polish documentary photographer and Magnum co-founder, David “Chim” Seymour. The project, entitled Conditions of the Heart: on empathy and connection in photography is inspired by Seymour’s exceptional ability to convey human emotion in his work. This project explores the relationship between photographer and subject and the significance of Seymour’s work on the practice of documentary photography. Featuring over seventy artists, the project is part of a series which examines the influence of the Magnum co-founders which also include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and George Rodger.
Seymour, who began his career as a photojournalist in the 1930s is well known for his images of the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War, he joined the United States Army as a photographic interpreter and afterwards, worked for UNICEF photographing the plight of orphaned children. Affected by wartime experiences, Seymour’s work became more socially conscious and acquired a greater sensitivity. Magnum photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Chim picked up his camera the way a doctor takes his stethoscope out of his bag, applying his diagnosis to the condition of the heart.
When Magnum photographer, Eve Arnold was seconded to Cuba to take magazine photographs, she encountered destitution on an unimaginable scale which affected her greatly. In desperation, a Cuban family, depicted here, implored her to adopt their daughter to save her from a life of prostitution and poverty.
Magnum photographer, Paul Fusco took this photograph while travelling from New York to Washington, D.C. from a train carrying the dead body of Robert F. Kennedy. Fusco explained, “The people in this photograph had a meaningful connection with Kennedy and an appreciable reason to build a sign, stand in the heat and say goodbye to the man who had once offered them hope.”
Magnum photographer, Ian Berry was pleasantly surprised when he worked with the actor and singer Jane Birkin OBE and her partner, Serge Gainsbourg. Regarding most celebrities somewhat challenging, he found the pair ”warm, friendly and generally terrific” and, easy to photograph.
The Magnum photographs on sale are museum quality prints and measure 6 x 6 inches. Each photograph is sighed and estate stamped and cost $100.
by Miranda Charalambous
The Magnum Square Print Sale, Conditions of the Heart: on empathy and connection in photography runs until November 4, 2016 at the Magnum Print Online Shop.
Front page image: Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits. Reno, Nevada, 1960, Courtesy of Inge Morath/Magnum Photos