“Pictures are like taxis at rush hour—if you're not quick enough, someone else will have got them.” René Burri
Picasso, Churchill, Che Guevara, Castro, Le Corbusier and Giacometti. Brasília, Palestine, China, Vietnam, post-war Germany—the photos taken by Swiss photographer René Burri are unique documents of important events in contemporary history and media history, and of leading personalities in the politics and culture of the last 50 years. Burri’s photographs have long since become iconic images of the 20th century and have had a profound influence on classic photojournalism across the world. Burri has the special knack of capturing in a photograph a key moment of history and of awakening hidden emotions. With an unmistakable clarity, his photographs reveal the issues that matter to the world’s people. These swift, dynamic photos create images of real life, in which he captures the poetry and “vibrations of the living”.
He does not have a theory; none of his numerous books serve up any programmatic statement; he has not created any new terms, or founded any new school. René Burri is a practical man: a photojournalist, one might say, without, however, doing justice to him with that word. Just as none of the usual labels really seem to apply to him.