I had some luck yesterday here in Paris. I had been looking at a book by Josef Koudelka at several different book stores over the last few days. When I went to the Magnum Gallery yesterday I finally decided to buy it for 60 Euros. The lady at the Magnum gallery shop suggested I go to Magnum agency to see some original prints on display there. I rushed across town, got lost and finally found the agency. The photos on display were very good especially a b/w series of peoples faces in a conference room area. After 40 minutes or so of looking at photos and and photo books in a relaxed friendly atmosphere I decided to leave. A nice French gentleman (Mr. Clemente) a photographer who was temporarily working the front desk of the agency told me that Mr. Kouldelka was upstairs and phoned up to ask if he would come down and sign my book. Josef Koudelka very graciously interrupted his work day to come down and sign the book, a kind generous man it was an honor to meet him. I also owe thanks to Mr. Clemente who went out of his way to help a stranger. Magnum, quality people doing important work.
It was a lucky day, a real lucky day, many things had to fit together for this to work out for me. I bought the book on that day luckily and on leaving one Magnum book place was told about the second office agency. After 40 minutes of looking at pics I was leaving and got caught in the doorway when it started to rain, Mr. Clemente who was smoking up front and I started talking. He saw me put the book down against the wall and then told me about Josef Koudelka being upstairs. It was a series of great coincidences. In fact I only went to the first Magnum book shop because the gallery I had planned to originally visit had been robbed earlier that week and was still closed. Because of all those coincidental things I got to meet a photographer I admire greatly, one of the best alive. A nice memory all round!
Update* That book is now a prized possession, that I keep safely stored away in my large photography library.Another great thing about this event is that I get to bug my friend Larry all the time, "Did I ever tell you about time I met Josef Koudelka?" have done that 10 or 15 times so far:)
|By Josef Koudelka from his book "Gypsies"|