You don't just need technical skills or good equipment to be a great photographer - you also have to have the right eye, a way of seeing the world that others haven't. This idea is at the center of 'Hidden,' a new, curated series from Magnum Photos in partnership with Aperture. The series - which features prints from the likes of Susan Meiselas, Don McCullin, Stephen Shore, Alex Webb, Todd Hido, Daido Moriyama, Bruce Davidson, Nicole Krijno, Joel Meyerowitz and Justine Kurland - posits that photographers glimpse scenes that are often hidden from the rest of the world, capturing those people and places that others do not see.
Prints from the 'Hidden' series are on sale this week, signed by the photographers or estate-stamped, on Magnum's site; we have a few selections to share, along with some thoughts from their photographers.
Steve McCurry (Magnum Photos)
Near Zhengzhou, China. 2004.
“The world-renowned Shaolin Monastery is known to many for its association with martial arts, specifically Shaolin Kung Fu.
The physical strength and dexterity displayed by the monks is incredible, although they exude a deep serenity.”
Inge Morath (Magnum Photos)
Linda, the llama with its trainer, Mrs. Lorraine D’Essen. New York,
“This image is an outtake from Inge’s iconic story, ‘A Llama in Times Square’ published in the December 2, 1957 issue of LIFE magazine. The story showcases the humorous yetinsightful story of stage and television animal performers living in New York City. Linda, the llama is accompanied by one of her trainers and foster parent Mrs. Lorraine D’Essen, during a ride back home from a television show at ABC studios.”
- Sana Manzoor, Inge Morath Estate
Chris Steele-Perkins (Magnum Photos)
From “The Pleasure Principle.” Blackpool, England. 1982.
“It can be argued that, like the sculptor’s stone whose final shape always lies hidden until the sculptor reveals it to us, in a quantum universe the photograph has always existed, waiting for the photographer to take it and reveal its form, though the meaning still lies hidden.”
Mary Ellen Mark (Aperture)
Crissy, Jesse, Linda, and Dean Damm in their car, Los Angeles.
“While I was working with the Damm family, I thought about making a strong portrait of them in their car. It was impossible to take the photograph inside the car, because there just wasn’t enough space. Also, Runtley was a ferocious pit bull, and he would most surely bite me; the car was his territory. On the last day, I asked them to stop their car near a railroad track,
and I made this picture. I took several frames, but when Crissy spontaneously reached up and gently touched Jesse’s face, I knew that was the photograph.”
Justine Kurland (Aperture)
Dairy Queen. 2000.
“I wanted to make the invisible communion between girls visible, foregrounding their experience as primary and irrefutable. I imagined a world in which acts of solidarity between girls would engender even more girls—they would multiply through the sheer force of togetherness and lay claim to a new territory. Their collective awakening would ignite and spread through suburbs and schoolyards, calling to clusters of girls camped on stoops and the hoods of cars, or aimlessly wandering the neighborhoods where they lived.”
Thomas Hoepker (Magnum Photos)
Muhammad Ali. London, England. 1966.
“I’m sure there are hidden treasures in any analog archive one might never have the chance to discover. During my time as an active photo-reporter there was rarely a lot of time left between assignments to have a second or third look at the negatives that were not immediately published.
So when the theme of this Square Print project ‘Hidden’ came up, I did some more digging. I grabbed some folders of old negatives and unexpectedly found another Muhammad Ali picture that I had totally overlooked ’til today, even though I have published a lot of Ali pictures, including two books. It’s amazing to see him show so many different facets of his personality on a single film strip.”
Philippe Halsman (Magnum Photos)
‘Aquacade.’ Florida, USA. 1953.
“I was on assignment for LIFE [magazine] to shoot an international meet of underwater ballet swimmers. For three days I photographed the girls doing the most complicated wheels and tricks under water. Once, during a break, the winning Canadian team came to the surface to gulp for air. From the bottom of the pool I photographed them treading water.”
- Philippe Halsman, Halsman at Work, Yvonne Halsman (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1989)
Bruce Davidson (Magnum Photos)
Subway. New York City, USA. 1980.
“This photograph was taken as part of an ongoing series of color subway portraits in the early 1980s. I used to explore different subway lines, taking them to the end and then back again. One day I spotted this young man on the subway train at Coney Island, who absorbed so much bright sun he appeared to be radiant. His glowing skin tone seemed to match the chains around his neck, which James Agee would often refer to as ‘badges of being.’ The fact that his face is in shadow implies ‘hidden’ to me. Although our meeting was momentary, he gave himself to the camera and then was gone, back into the bowels of Brooklyn. Forty years later I was told that this man, who was 20 at the time, became a prominent physical trainer.”
Todd Hido (Aperture)
“I drive, I drive a lot.People ask me how I find my pictures. I tell them I drive around. I drive and drive and I mostly don’t find anything that is interesting to me. But then, something calls out. Something that looks sort of off or maybe an empty space. Sometimes it’s a sad scene. I like that kind of stuff. I remember this foggy night, wondering about the hidden world behind the frosted glass of the garage door. Did somebody just leave the light on? Or is there a whole world of activity going on in the middle of the night out in the garage under the veil of the fog? And so I keep driving and looking and taking pictures.”
Don McCullin (Aperture)
Protester, Cuban Missile Crisis, Whitehall, London. 1962.
“In 1962, when the world nearly went to war again over the Cuban Missile Crisis, there were massive demonstrations in London’s Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, where this shot was taken. This one man broke from the rabble of many thousands trying to make a run for 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s residence. Police formed a cordon to prevent him and to hold back ensuing crowds. So he made his political statement by sitting himself down in front of them. What slogan was he brandishing on that banner? Who was he? What happened to him? His statement may have made headlines, but he remains forever anonymous, caught up entirely in his own activism.”
‘Hidden,’ the Magnum Square Print Sale in Partnership with Aperture, runs through midnight EDT Friday, November 1, 2019. Signed or estate-stamped, museum-quality, 6x6” prints from over 100 artists will exceptionally be available for $100, for 5 days only, on shop.magnumphotos.com.