Photo: Boy Against Wall, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, 1974.
June 29, 2015
Burk Uzzle began working as a photographer when he was 14 years old, and became the youngest contract photographer at Life magazine when he was just 23. “The great thing about working for Life was the whole ideology of going for that exalted moment, ” he told Rankin last year. “It had to have something really superlative about it. Life was about the population at large.”
Born in North Carolina he has lived a nomadic existence, travelling all over America. “I don’t like sitting in one place,” he says, “physically, geographically, or artistically. You just have to be hungry.” Alongside his personal, artistic work, Uzzle has produced some of the most recognizable images we have of Woodstock, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Cambodian War.
Now 76, he has twice been elected as President of Magnum Photos, the international cooperative founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. A selection of his American landscapes are currently showing at Steven Kasher gallery in New York. The exhibition features more than 70 of his black and white photographs from the 1960s through to the present day. He says: “These photographs are an appreciation of America. Their structure, like that of America itself, evokes a melody of movement and collage – not an explanation.”