Photographer // Fred Herzog

"Photographic finesse has its place, but it can also get in the way. I was trying to show vitality. The pictures are about content, and more content. And if there is no content, take no picture. "It’s exactly the other way around now. 'Okay I’m going to take my clothes off, and I’m going to stand there in the nude, and I’m going to try and look lonely or profound.' 

In 1953 Fred Herzog, an orphaned emigrant from Germany who had only just bought his first camera, arrived in Vancouver. On leave from working in the shipyards, he took the first of 120,000 pioneering colour photographs of life on the city’s streets: Kodachrome street shots telling stories of barbershops and billboards from an outsider perspective. This image, “Man with Bandage”, was taken in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1968, and captures a young coastal city in the dying days of neon.


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