Robert Frank

Datesborn Switzerland, 1924
BornZurich, Switzerland

Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others. Perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also, it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.

Zurich-born Robert Frank wrote the above passage in 1958, the year before his landmark publication The Americans debuted in the United States. Frank had worked in various capacities as a photographer, beginning in 1941. In 1947 he moved to the United States, where he worked briefly as a fashion photographer at Harper's Bazaar before branching out as a freelancer and traveling the world. In 1955 Frank received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship to support the work that would eventually become The Americans.

Around 1958 Frank began experimenting with film; his works in that medium include the now-classic titles Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues, a documentary of the Rolling Stones. Based in Nova Scotia, he continues to work with both still and motion picture photography.