Louis Faurer was one of America’s “quiet” photographers. Known for his raw, melancholy, and psychologically charged pictures of life on the street, and in particular for his evocative shots of 1940s and 1950s Times Square, New York, Faurer frequently drew on the film noir idiom to create memorable images. Photographs of moviegoers, box-office lines, ushers, and cinemas advertising B movies such as Force of Evil, Edge of Doom, and Ace in the Hole are recurrent themes.
Much of Faurer’s best work, though, is of ordinary people, and he frequently haunted the streets of New York, finding poetry amid the crackle of the city. In an untitled picture taken in 1937 in Philadelphia, the trousers, jacket cuffs, and cane of a seated man are in sharp focus, as are a box of pencils and a sign announcing “I am totally blind.” Hurrying past him are the blurred images of pedestrians. Other shots such as I Am Paralyzed, Daddy Warbucks, and Eddie combine a social and personal awareness that was rare for its time.
Faurer also worked as a fashion photographer for nearly thirty years, producing work for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Flair, with a particular gift for highlighting his subject’s ephemeral grace. He was a lasting influence on Robert Frank and other members of the New York school of photography.
This book, the first to examine Faurer’s work in depth and bring it to a modern readership, draws together a great deal of previously unpublished material, as well as images not seen since they originally appeared in magazines in the 1940s and 1950s.