Larry Burrows, Winston Churchill, 1954
April 22, 2019
I cannot think of another photograph of a person's back that suggests as much as this famous view of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, moments before Pierre Mendes-France, his French counterpart, deplanes at Biggin Hill RAF Station, outside London. Many words come to mind: anticipation, gravity, weight, inevitability, fatigue, resolve. Burrows downward yet intimate point of view, frequently seen in his gripping later work from Vietnam, turns the cross hatched tarmac into a chessboard, and Churchill seems to know, as our eye is drawn to the man beside the door, what move he must make next. At any moment the plane's door will open and as they say, the rest is history.