Brother seeing eye

A postcard of Mondrian’s glasses has always been pinned to my studio wall. During the mid twenties in Paris Andre Kertész took this photograph as part of a series of “portraits” of his friend, the painter Piet Mondrian. Kertész creates his portrait through absence, drawing the viewer’s attention to Mondrian’s presence through his possessions and the way they are composed. The use of bold monochrome lines suggests Mondrian’s simplified geometric aesthetic. Creating pure abstractions from straight lines and planes of primary colors.

Supposedly, the Dadaist poet Paul Dermé named Kertész “Brother Seeing Eye” after the only fully-sighted monk in a medieval monastery where all the other monks were blind.

Soon after his arrival in Paris he was befriended by Journalist and picture editor Gyula Halasz. They became lifelong friends. In fact Kertesz taught him the technique of photographing at night. He became  better known as Brassai. He said of his friend, “Andre has two qualities that are essential to a great photographer: an insatiable curiosity about the world, about life and about people, and a precise sense of form. But rarely are the two qualities found in the same person.”

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