“How wonderful to have been looking in the right direction so often,” once gushed Willy Ronis. But France’s great humanist shutterbug did far more than point and shoot. Unparalleled in his ability to tease raw beauty from the humdrum, he scoured the streets of Paris training his lens on the working-class neighbourhoods of Belleville and Ménilmontant to capture those fleeting sparks of everyday life that would make his “camera smile”.
At times thoughtful, jubilant but always playful – and casually extraordinary – from a gamin trotting along, an oversized baguette hooked in the crook of his arm to a grinning vendeuse peddling her wares at the market – his fly-on-the-wall tableaux (re)defined a generation.
Nearly ten years since his passing, Paris: Ronis honours the decorated photographer and incomparable storyteller with a pocket-sized album of his most emblematic snaps. Join him on his “sincere and passionate quest for the simple beauty of daily life”.
Paris: Ronis, photography by Willy Ronis, published by Flammarion
From France Today magazine
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