Photographer Brassaï was born Gyula Halász in Romania in 1899. He studies art and history and began his photography career in Berlin in 1920. He took on a journalist position and began photographing his article subjects to gain extra money for the pieces he wrote. In 1924 made the move to Paris and fell in love with the city almost immediately. He learned the French language by reading Proust and became friends with several art circles and even claimed a close friendship with playwright Henry Miller. Sadly Miller wrote in a biography in the 70’s that Fred Perles and he actually steered clear of because they thought Gyula as a bore!
Brassaï’s career as a photographer began to take off in the 30’s. He was able to capture the essence of Paris and its every day life and printed his first book collection in 1933. During this period, Brassaï started doing portraiture of some of his famous friends like Picasso, Dali and Matisse. In 1948 he had a first one man show and by the 50’s his commercial work garnered him a close relationship with Harpers Bazaar.
Brassaï’s photos truly brought the street life of Paris to life for history. From the 20’s to the 40’s the photos are some of the most iconic images in history. Today these images are a constant source of inspiration for artists and the world of Fashion and Motion Pictures. Some of the most iconic image are Brassaï’s image of Paris at night. I’ve added a few to reference and some nightlife shots.