Track A, History of Street Photographers, Part 8

Raw, Naked Art

Part 8 – The Rule Making Epoch: Izis

Israëlis “Izis” Bidermanas (Lithuania) – 1911 to 1980

Izis_13Israëlis Bidermanas, who worked under the name Izis, was a Lithuanian-Jewish photographer who made his mark photographing Paris from the 1930s through the 1970s. He was part of the French humanist movement, a clever term for mostly street shooters that focused on scenes of everyday Parisian life, often displayed with what is often described as a poetic energy. Though his work was masterful, he never achieved the fame of contemporaries Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, or even Willy Ronis or Brassaï (to be detailed later).

Izis was born in Lithuania, then oppressed by Tsarist Russia, in 1911. He fled his country at age 19, arriving penniless but grateful in Paris, with the intention of becoming a painter. Instead, he took up his first camera a year later, in 1931, around the same time…

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