The gifted photographer Martine Franck died on August 16 of this year, 2012. Born in 1938, in Belgium, she grew up in the United States and England, studied art history at la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and at l’École du Louvre in Paris. Her photography spans decades and genres; she was married to fellow photography legend Henri Cartier-Bresson for many years. These are some of the facts of her life….
Her photos speak for themselves.
In an interview, she speaks of the unpredictability of photography and its strange subjective nature, halfway between truth and falsehood –
“A photograph is not necessarily a lie, but it isn’t the truth either. It’s more like a fleeting, subjective impression. What I like so much about photography is precisely the moment that cannot be anticipated; one must be constantly on the alert, ready to acclaim the unexpected.”
She also spoke of the stories she read as a girl –
“My mother gave me Mark Twain to read as a child, also Conan Doyle.Sherlock Holmes and Hitchcock are still a passion of mine, and that brings us back to the mystery of life, the unexpected side of reality that is constantly taking us by surprise, off our guard. I think, basically, that is why I never get bored photographing.”
It is impossible to sum up the life of a gifted person in a few or many words – or in the case of Martine Franck, in all of the many photographs she took. So I am limiting myself to one here, a remarkable photo, taken at a monastery in Nepal, in 1996.
Martine Franck, rest in peace. But your images and words will live on.