You know how one thing leads to another on the internet. A Google search takes you to a site that links to something else, and bada-boom bada-bing you’ve spent hours on YouTube or Camerapedia.
Well, yesterday a Todd Hido podcast led me to the name Willy Ronis, and I wondered, “why have I never heard of this guy before?”
It turns out that Ronis (1910–2009) was a French photographer, born to Ukranian/Lithuanian refugees, who grew up in Paris and later became the first French photographer to work for Life Magazine.
The following is a six-piece selfportrait (according to the title) followed by what has to be one of the last interviews of Ronis.
The last clip unfortunately doesn’t have English subtitles, but is still worth a watch. Profitez!
Willy Ronis – Autoportrait d’un photographe (A Photographer’s Selfportrait)
Interview by Peter Burchett (ca. 2009).
2005 AFP interview. Ronis speaks of his pictures, Le nu provençal (Provençal Nude) and La péniche aux enfants (The Children’s Barge).
In 1931 he came to France with the help from Nobel Prize receiver Albert Einstein after having served 3 years in Austrian prison for killing his father on a hiking trip.
When World War II broke out, he escaped Hitler’s “Endlösung” by going to the United States.