Brassaï (French (born Romania), Brașov 1899–1984 Côte d'Azur)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 25.4 x 20.6 cm (10 x 8 1/8 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, by exchange, 2005
Not on view
In his memoir, The Secret Paris of the 30s, Brassaï describes Big Albert: "A huge strapping fellow, a gang leader, surrounded by six more or less colorless lieutenants who worshipped him unreservedly and obeyed him without a scruple. This guy had three whores working for him. I accompanied them on some of their nighttime rambles. Although I succeeded in taking photographs of these toughs, one day they managed to lift my wallet, even though I had already paid them handsomely for their favors. I didn't lodge a complaint, however. Thievery for them, photographs for me."
Brassaï exaggerated the menacing sense of darkness in this picture by printing the bottom third of the paper black, extending the picture beyond the edge of the negative.
Inscription: Signed in ink on print, verso CR: "Brassaï"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso CR: "X"
Brassaï; [...]; [Morris Graves, January 30, 1986]; Gilman Paper Company Collection
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Night Vision: Photography After Dark," April 26, 2011–September 5, 2011.
Brassaï. The Secret Paris of the 30's. 1st American ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1976. n.p.