I always imagined the person of René Burri to be like a musician who eschews spotlight and whose songs are practically known by everyone, only that no one can exactly tell the name of the artist when prompted to do so. He is without a doubt one of the best Magnum-photographers, but never really gained the fame of a Henri Cartier-Bresson or Robert Capa. And yet his photos essentially shaped our conception of important historical figures such as Che Guevara and Pablo Picasso. That is why I was delighted when I discovered the embedded video below and found the underlying stories of his best known photos highly intriguing.
Image: Screenshot of the Video “Six Photographs”: René Burri
Who’d have thought that Che, during the 3-hour photo session that ran parallel to a heated debate with a U.S. reporter, didn’t once look at Burri, the photographer? Che was allegedly a passionate photographer himself and had thus been entirely at ease with the medium. This would also explain why he could always play to the gallery in the best possible manner. I for one don’t know of a single photo Che doesn’t come across as casual and cool. 😉
Interesting as well are Burri’s views on Photoshop and modern photo-journalism. “The truth is something else [than what appears on the photos]”. A must-see! 🙂