All For the Good

One can almost hear the strains of the waltz, the rustling of gowns as they cross the ballroom floor and the hushed whisper of conversation from this magical and dreamy moment captured by Henri Cartier-Bresson of the legendary “Queen Charlotte’s Ball” in 1959.

This is but one of over one hundred works donated by the giants of photography for “A Positive View” an exhibition and auction in support of the homeless charity Crisis, now in its third year.

Despite all the crushingly beautiful glamor, Nadim Samman, the show’s curator, has kept the issue of homelessness in view throughout. Robert Polidori’s photographs of houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina evoke the ephemeral security of “home.” Even more arresting are the works of five homeless photographers trained by Crisis. Their documentation of lives lived on the streets forces one to consider their world, one that is often, conveniently, invisible.

Given the source of the works, some sprawl in subject and style is inevitable. The show’s organizers have used this to their advantage, ingenuously uniting different worlds into dialogue with each other. High-end fashion shots rub frames with punchy street portraits. Landscapes hang alongside still-lifes. Portraits contrast with grim reportage. These juxtapositions have been used to powerful effect.

Among this impressive collection are works by Eve Arnold, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Corrine Day, Patrick Dermarchelier, Elliott Erwitt, Frank Horvat, Roderick Henderson, Don McCullin, Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Robert Polidori, Malick Sedibé, Mario Testino, Albert Watson, Bruce Weber and Wim Wenders.

The Positive View auction, in aid of Crisis, will be held at Christie’s, London on 15 April, 2010. An accompanying book is available from Amazon.





~ by eaesthete on 04/09/10.

2 Responses to “All For the Good”

  1. Cartier-Bresson’s picture is more mesmerising each time I see it again. A great way to introduce us to a very serious issue, that reaches far beyond the confines of photography.


  2. Wow
    What I would do to be there…

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