the accidental book buyer in Paris

there are surely more places to not wanting to be an accidental book buyer, and surely this is hardly an odd chance. this time I met Frank Horvat by chance.

back in May, I was walking by the usual places — I am not an accidental tourist, but just one not very adventurous by must-see standards — and came to a notice at the Tachen store in the 6th Arrondissement that Sebastião Salgado was going to be signing his latest book at the store. by chance, this was the same day I returned to Paris from elsewhere, and then return to San Francisco a couple of days after. I had never bought a bought at a signing before, so it seemed like a good opportunity to do so. there is not much interest in autograph either, but the "why not" takes over. 

on the last day of this recent trip, the temperature was a little warmer, and no rain, so a walk to Jardin du Luxembourg was required for yet-more-photographs of a tree "hedge". I soon remember that I wanted to stop by Le Chambre Claire photobooks store, and check it out. magnificent store, and discovered the book by Sergio Larrain, who I never heard about — which is the most common instance. unfortunately, his work was not part of the Latin America exhibit at Fondation Cartier, but the person at the store told me that it was an exhibit at Fondation Cartier-Bresson. argh, I did not have the time. got the book anyway.

there was an announcement for a signing later in the day by Frank Horvat. ah, yes, I should say that I never heard of him either. see the pattern? I glanced at a copy of the Pochet edition, and thought it was interesting, so it was good to plan to pick up the purchased book while Mr. Horvat would be at the store.

by Frank Horvat

by Frank Horvat

on returning to the store, I took a careful look at his latest book La Maison aud Quinze Clefs, and thought it was worth owning. I still knew nothing of the man... nor that, like my recent interest in photographers, he came through the ranks of fashion photography. his disposition was also like that of Saul Leiter: calm and understated. I like that very much in a photographer, and it translates into the photographs that I like. I can relate to the quote:

« photography is the art of not pushing the button »

the accidental book buying is also accompanied by the coincidence of having the same fountain pen to get the books signed. that pen is getting more expensive with time.



• La Chambre Claire [ ]
• Frank Horvat [ ]