Robert Frank, one of THE most influential documentary photographers and filmmakers, has died, according to the New York Times.
Frank, an immigrant to the United States, was born in Switzerland, was able to capture unflinching truths about the American experience in a new way.
The Americans, his classic photo book from 1958, is a portrait of class differences in postwar America; men shining shoes, waitresses, ladies chatting over coffee, street crowds…
Jack Kerouac, who wrote the book’s introduction, famously said,
“With that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film.”
After The Americans was published, Frank shifted from photography to film. His most famous film from the era, Cocksucker Blues (1972), is a documentary about the Rolling Stones touring America. Mick Jagger tried block it from being released in the U.S. because of Frank’s depictions of sex and drug use.
Frank soon after returned to creating photographs and continued to work through the decades. He’s one of the medium’s superstars, receiving nearly every sort of honor there was to give him.
Robert Frank was 94.
(Photograph, Robert Frank; via ArtNews)