Pop Culture

Capa in Color

Famous for his quote, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough," war photographer Robert Capa projected a public image that suggested an aggressive, in-your-face photographer. His pictures were often gritty, in subject matter (one of Capa's most famous images shows a Spanish soldier falling the moment after a bullet has penetrated his skull, though that photograph is the subject of a longstanding debate about its authenticity ) and in style. The extreme graininess of his eyewitness documentation of the D-Day landing was caused by an error in the darkroom but few viewers would suggest that it does anything but heighten the suggestion of wartime chaos.
ABOVE: Capucine, a French model and actress, poses on a balcony in Rome in August 1951.

"Capa in Color" is the first exhbition of the master black-and-white photographer's work in color. According to the International Center of Photography, "some of these photographs were published in magazines of the day, but the majority have never been printed, seen, or even studied." For most viewers it is not just the color but the subject matter that will distinguish these pictures from Capa's hallmark images: a young actress in a contemplative pose, tough guy Pablo Picasso cradling his infant son, fans taking in a day at the races. These quiet, ordinary moments are far cry from the destruction and mayhem of war photograpy.
ABOVE: Spectators use binoculars at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris circa 1952.

Pablo Picasso plays in the water with his son Claude, in Vallauris, France, in 1948.

Spectators watch the visit of Sultan Sidi Mohammed from a tree in Fez, Morocco, in 1949.