An Interview with Elliott Erwitt; New York City, Alter Egos, and Minor Irritations

Famed Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt, known for his powerful black and white work and mastery of Bresson's "decisive moment," sits down with Gaia Squarci and Edoardo Mari for a rare brief interview. In it he discusses his immigration to NYC in 1939, his alter ego (André S. Solidor), and life as one of the most impactful photographers of the 20th century.

Like so many prophetic street photographers before him, Erwitt was drawn to New York City. He reflects on the impact and role NYC plays in his life, “This is where I live, this is what I identify with. New York is the center of my life, my activities, my family.”

When asked about his first year in the city, Erwitt candidly answers, “My first year? It’s too long ago, I don’t remember things that happened last week.”

What amuses me in life? I don’t know if anything amuses me in particular. What amuses me in life? People I would guess. Landscapes do not amuse me; People do. What people do and how they behave, that’s about it.

Moviechrome, the filmmakers behind the interview, shot some really lovely behind-the-scenes images which can be found on their website.

To see Erwitt's work for yourself, be sure to check out his online portfolio.

[via Moviechrome and ISO 1200]

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Jason Hudson's picture

interesting stuff, thanks Austin.

David Geffin's picture

haha what a dry wit Erwitt has - just like his photography, you can see where he gets his visual style from. Brilliant interview with one of my favorite photographers of all time, thanks for sharing and posting AR!