donderdag 8 april 2010

Nico Jesse Fabulous Paris in the '50s Photography

JESSE, NICO - COCTEAU, JEAN (INTROD.) & UTE VALLANCE. - Parijs Amsterdam/Brussel, Elsevier, 1962. Boards (hardcover), illustrated dustjacket, 27,8 x 20,5 cms., 304 pp. text in Dutch with 500 photographic illustrations, some in colour. Paris in all its aspects.

Nico Jesse best known for his photo-book Women of Paris, published in 1954; his candid pictures of women going about their daily occupations convey the vitality of the city. Two years later the book was reprinted in a paperback edition; over the next few years it appeared in several countries, including Japan. Characteristic of Jesse's work, the pictures reflect his unconventional, almost filmic treatment: people are the focal aspect and movement is often an essential element. The use of flashlight to make the figures stand out from the background is another typically Jessean device. It is not so very surprising that he made his name with a book, for his strength lay less in the individual image than in a succession of them.

Nico Jesse had studied medicine and for many years combined his profession as a general practitioner with his passion for photography. His interest in people motivated him in both capacities. In 1956 he retired from general practice to devote himself entirely to photography. His assignments came from various companies; he took photographs for annual reports and/or company publications and for many years photographed Amsterdam's important annual literary event, the Book Ball. He also produced in rapid succession a large number of photo-books featuring European cities and countries. It is clear from these books that he was more interested in the people and atmosphere of a city than in tourist attractions.

To Jesse, photography was always a means of rendering human relationships visible. In 1962 he returned to doctoring, but continued to take photographs. At his death in 1976 he left a large photographic oeuvre which conveys a wonderful picture of the Netherlands and Europe in the fifties and sixties. Nico Jesse on
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See also Willy Ronis, the eye of Paris Photography by Charles Bremner ...  &   Dutch Eyes Lies Wiegman People of Paris Photography  ...

More Dutch photographers in Paris (1945-1965) : Emmy Andriesse , Sem PresserAd Windig,Fred BrommetKees SchererCor DekkingaHenny Riemens en Paul Huf. Some photobook classics : Bonjour Paris of Cas Oorthuys (1951) en Vrouwen van Parijs of Nico Jesse (1954). The photonovels Ed van der Elsken Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint-Germain-des-Prés(1956), and Paris mortel (1963) by Joan van der Keuken.

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