It’s hard to be stuck in a studio while longing to enjoy life outside. Brassaï, famed for his classic images of Paris, was neither a photographer nor a Parisian — he wanted to be a painter. But once he arrived in Paris in 1924, he gave up his brushes. The fact was, he was so attracted to Parisian life that he said he had no interest in confining himself “to the four walls of an atelier all alone.”
That sentiment and others cited in “Brassai,” a book recently released by Spain’s Fundación Mapfre, were most likely colored by Brassaï’s retrospective regret for not returning to painting. His legacy would come from his peregrinations outside the studio.