Brassai in Paris
Brassai was born Gyula Halasz in Brosso, Transylvania, now Brasov in Romania, in 1899. In 1929, he had moved to work in Paris – the place which he is now most closely associated – and was taking regular photographs and began to specialise in night photography. He would wander the streets at night, photographing the people and buildings that he came across, often with an overtly Surrealist approach. Brassai seemed to have a natural affinity with Paris, revelling in its rich atmosphere and photographic potential. His best-known photographs come from the 1930s, and deal with Paris’s seamier side-prostitutes, down and outs, drinkers, pimps and other inhabitants of the night- all taken in poor light, and filled with brooding atmosphere and implied narratives.