Author(s): Eric Hazan
By documenting the everyday workings of the city, Magnums photographers capture the essence of Parisian life. Their photographs show the city as it lives and breathes - from fashion shows to underground jazz clubs, from the bustling metro to outdoor cafes, and from the Art Deco Fouquets hotel to the working class Goutte dOr neighborhood. Even celebrities appear as ordinary citizens encountered in their own milieu - from former President Francois Mitterrand to novelist Marguerite Duras, singer Edith Piaf to actress Catherine Deneuve, fashion designer Christian Dior to artist Giacometti. The city's rich history and traditions are inherent in images depicting the bravery of an unknown female resistance fighter, the exuberant joy upon the Liberation of Paris, the eroticism of burlesque dancers, or the excitement of the final lap of the Tour de France. Crusty baguettes, buttery escargot, glasses of wine, and abundant butcher cases attest to the gastronomic pleasures of the city, and all of the monuments the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame appear like cast members at curtain call. This book celebrates the myriad aspects of Paris in a volume as captivating for the lifelong Parisian as it is for the armchair traveler.
Eric Hazan founded La Fabrique publishing house and is author of numerous books including The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps. Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and David Seymour, who were convinced of the power of photography to bear witness to the world's defining moments and to provoke the collective consciousness. Today, the cooperative includes nearly one hundred photographer-members and its library contains approximately one million photographs.