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Posts Tagged ‘Photograph–Chaim Kanner’

 

Chaim

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Click on the images to make them bigger.

Chaim Kanner (1943-2000) was born in Nice. He studied in Europe and photographed in France and Italy. In 1967 he spent a year photographing in the US and Mexico. He worked as a professional photographer, first in the commercial field and then later in the fine art realm. He moved to the US in 1981.

I met him only once. It was in the 1980’s in mid-town Manhattan. He was a strange sight: an orthodox Jew in the traditional black garb and black hat, but what was unusual was that he was exhibiting photographs on the steps of a brownstone, selling prints to passersby.

I was drawn to the image of the French girl hanging clothes out the window. It was the sort of black and white “street photography ” that I prefer — very much like the work of so many great European artists. His prints were sophisticated and beautifully done and they didn’t seem to fit with his persona, especially the part where he was selling his work on somebody’s stoop. I only now found out that he was a pro and that he died in 2000.

I bought two photographs from him that day. They were inexpensive, perhaps $10.00. I still treasure the image of the girl from Nice — because it is wonderful but also because of how I acquired it.  — Paul Goldfinger    (note: click left for a larger view)

ADDENDUM: The above article is reposted from January, 2013, but now  (below) we show the second Chaim Kanner photograph which I have. It, like the other one, is a silver gelatin print which he made himself.  It is a gorgeous urban landscape which I love,  taken in Paris of the River Seine at the Pont Neuf.

Although the subject is rather trite, that is irrelevant because his result is so beautiful.    The strikingly clear lighting, the composition, and then the print itself make this version special.   I photographed the same scene when I went there, but his is so much better.  I can’t believe I bought this on a mid-town stoop.

The name Chaim is of Hebrew origin and means “life,” Just like the toast “L’chaim” means “to life.”  You may recall the song from Fiddler on the Roof.  My grandfather’s name was Chaim, but the anglicized version was “Hyman.”  Looking back on it, I wonder which one he preferred. I called him by his third name—“Grandpa.”  In fact, I wanted to name our oldest son after him, but Eileen objected to having a son named “Grandpa.”

Eugene Atget, a French photographer, became famous photographing old Paris.  Here is a link to our 2013 post about Atget including an example of my own work trying to emulate the master:   Blogfinger on Atget

Paris, 1980. By Chaim Kanner. ©

Paris, 1980. By Chaim Kanner. ©

 

SIDNEY BECHET.  The music video is from Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”

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