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LEONARD FREED talks about Henri Cartier-Bresson:

Grabbing my hand, Peggy, my girlfriend with Swedish, German and French passports pulled me to a display window of one of the many student bookshops along Paris’s Boulevard St.Michel. In the early 1950’s Peggy was beautiful, exciting and creative and what she was pointing to was the newly published book by the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson – “The Decisive Moment”. She was thrilled by the photos and I by her. Inside the shop she turned each page, child-like with delight. The war years had taken a toll on her generation. The future was something they desperately wanted to believe in and I could see these pictures were therapeutic. Later, when my interest did turn to photography, I remembered this scene. It was my turn to be child-like with delight.
About this particular image – who is the third man standing, looking through the curtain next to the two already there? It is us. Like them we come upon a scene, a scene pointed out by Henri Cartier-Bresson. We, unlike Henri, are voyeurs. He has captured a moment in time while we return again and again, studying every detail. Is it not interesting that the man with the bowler hat has no sense of our presence. He neither looks through the curtain nor at us, his voyeurism is internal. Where and when the photograph was taken, I can only guess.Was it before or after I was born? Does it make a difference? What I do know is that it has now entered into my history, my reference book, stored in my memory. It will be used again and again in conversation with friends, photographers 7 critics.

Leonard Freed, New York, July 2003



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© 2003 Hackelbury Fine Art, Ltd. Copyright for all images is held by the respective artist or estate and they may not be reproduced in any form without express premission. All rights reserved.