4. Brandt and Brassai
Brandt’s contemporaries in Paris were Kertez, Cartier-Bresson and Brassai, and although all of them were greatly influenced by the Surrealism, as well as by trends in social documentation, there is no doubt that Brandt’s approach is closest to Brassai, pictured here by Brandt in 1978.
Both Brandt and Brassai used the Rollieflex rather than the Leica and this is apparent in the more static quality of their images.
The photographs that Brassai took in the clubs, bars and brothels of Paris, such as this photograph taken in a streetwalker’s hotel room in 1932 share striking resemblances to photographs taken by Brandt in London. Indeed, Brassai’s 1933 book Paris by Night was followed in 1938 by Brandt’s ‘A Night in London, from which this is an example.
Additionally, they worked on the same magazines such as the sumptuous art review ‘Minotaure’ and ‘Harpers Bazarre’, which took Brandt on in October 1943, mainly as a portraitist.