Gypsies. Photographs by Josef Koudelka. Forewords by Robert Delpire, John Szarkowski, and Anna Farova. Essay by Willy Guy. Aperture Books, New York, 1975. 144 pp. Squarish quarto. Stated First Printing. SIGNED on half-title page. Hardbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. Numerous black-and-white reproductions.
A rare signed copy of the first Aperture edition of Josef Koudelka's classic collection. As John Szarkowski wrote, "Koudelka's photographs aim at a distillation of a pattern of human values: a pattern that involves large gesture, brave style, precious camaraderie and bitter loneliness. The pattern and texture of his pictures form the silent equivalent of an epic drama."
"In the very stillness of the characters Josef questions and who question him, there is a kind of tension, a quivering, the muffled murmuring of flowing blood suddenly contained. It is not so much the temporary nature of immobility, the suspended time peculiar to the snapshot, as the feeling that this precarious immutability is only a surface phenomenon. Beneath each of these weather-beaten and hairless complexions silently glides the ice of all fears. Rooted like dried trees inside these bare, white walls, men mark out lines, indicate the masses of a statistically geometric order. Prisoners of the attention that they bring to bear, without naivety, on the photographic event, they are both witnesses and actors of their own presence. Whether they keep watch over the victim of a murder, show their pathetic treasures or flaunt themselves in front of Josef in the ironic ostentation of an accepted impoverishment, they give to the image its weight of classicism and tradition."--Robert Delpire
Fine- in Fine dust jacket; slight imperfection to foot of spine.