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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

Six Photographs: René Burri

Directed by Anthony Austin, Matt Willey talks exclusively with Magnum photographer René Burri. Six Photographs delves into Burri's six most iconic images, from Picasso to reopening of the Suez Canal "There are a handful of postcards that have faithfully followed me around, pinned and re-pinned above each desk I’ve ever had. One of them, given to me by my mother when I was about 16, shows four figures on top of a skyscraper in a very New York-looking São Paulo. It’s a wonderful photograph that I have spent a lot of time with and have often wondered about. That postcard reproduction of a photograph was my introduction, as a wide-eyed teenager, to the work of René Burri, one of the most significant and extraordinary photographers of our time.

René Burri turned eighty this year and has been taking photographs for 67 of those years, and as a Magnum photographer for the past 54. He has spent a lifetime ‘catching’ moments from the world around him, and in doing so has taken some of the most iconic and artistically salient photographs of the second half of the 20th century.

I was fortunate enough to spend a most enjoyable afternoon with the great man, drinking beer and eating bone marrow at one of his favourite restaurants; St John in Clerkenwell. I had the opportunity to ask him about his work and his life (the two seem indistinguishable), about the places he has been and about his encounters with people like Che Guevara, Pablo Picasso and Le Corbusier. And I also had the opportunity to ask him about that mysterious and wonderful photograph of four men on a roof in São Paulo…" Matt Willey [via Port-Magazine]

[sz-vimeo url="http://vimeo.com/68146128" caption="René Burri talks to Matt Willey about six iconic images" /]

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