Magnum Photos, Intimate and Affordable

Published November 10, 2015

Amidst fall auction week, where a Modigliani nude has already sold for $170 million and a Picasso for $67.5 million, Magnum Photos offers a surprisingly affordable sale, “Up Close & Personal: The Most Intimate Photographs from Magnum.” Museum-quality, signed and estate-stamped prints are available from nearly 70 esteemed photographers, including Elliott Erwitt, Susan Meiselas, Robert Capa, Larry Powell, Raymond Depardon, and Eve Arnold, each for $100. As the title suggests, every image captures a personal aspect of the image-maker’s life, be it through the presence of children, death, solitary moments, or emotions conveyed by facial expressions, lighting, and body language. The documentary images also have accompanying stories, written by the photographers themselves.

“Since I was 16, I’ve crossed this water channel countless times,” photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti says of her saturated image of a canal, which is exclusively in the slideshow above. “To see my parents, to visit Juana, to visit Belinda, Guillermina, to take pictures of them bathing, playing in it, to visit my friends, to fish in it, to photograph horses and cows grazing it, farmers fishing, people hunting, and to witness storms and floods and droughts.”

Through sharing anecdotes, viewers are invited into the images and stories therein. Mark Power’s image of feet tightly squeezed into patent red kitten heels comes from a series entitled “Black Country Stories,” about which he says, “Working with an assistant, we’d ask appropriate pedestrians [in The Black Country, Alabama] if I might photograph their shoes. This was, to say the least, an unusual request and the performative nature of my method—lying prostrate on the ground in reverence—only added to the tension of the moment.” A year later, the image hung on a large banner over a local art gallery, advertising his exhibition. The woman in the photograph appeared at the opening wearing the same footwear. “My daughter recognized her shoes immediately and exclaimed: ‘Daddy! Samantha’s here… But she doesn’t look right,'” Power continues. His daughter had preconceived notions of Samantha’s build, due to the slightly puffy ankles. But as the photographer continues, and as we all are often deceived by imagery, “Needless to say, she was wrong.”

“UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: THE MOST INTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM MAGNUM” SALE IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING VIA MAGNUM’S WEBSITE AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13.