Robert Frank, Macy's Parade, 1948
*This photograph was originally titled and dated "Men of Air, 1947"
September 23, 2019
We mourn the passing of Robert Frank, truly one of the most influential photographers and film makers of the 20th Century. His book THE AMERICANS inspired many of us to see the world in a new way. Gritty, unsentimental, estranged, off balanced.
Frank arrived in New York from Switzerland in March, 1947. That autumn, as the MACY'S Thanksgiving Day Parade approached Times Square, Frank took several exposures that captured this haunting image of a floating man suspended from a weightless balloon.** By 1959 Frank had turned his attention almost entirely to film making.
In addition to the many notable photographers whose vision was liberated by Frank, Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini might possibly have been inspired as well. Consider the first three minutes of Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita, courtesy You Tube: airborne, humorous, dark, with a photographer in the center seat.