On the occasion of the exhibition American Solitude, dedicated to Robert Frank, rediscover the photographic work of his long-time printer, Sid Kaplan, which Les Douches la galerie presented in the fall of 2020.
Sid Kaplan was born in 1938 in New York City, in the Bronx, but his Jewish family came from Eastern Europe. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Industrial Arts, he worked at a series of precarious jobs in the photography industry from 1956 to 1962. After a few years, he finally landed a job at the most prestigious photo lab in Manhattan, where he made prints for the greatest photographers, including Robert Capa and Weegee. It was there, too, that Ralph Gibson introduced him to Robert Frank. In 1968, Sid Kaplan left Compo to become an independent photographer. From then on, he will not cease to reveal the photographs of the man who, ten years earlier, published The Americans. While teaching black and white printing techniques at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Sid Kaplan never abandoned his Lower East Side neighborhood, where he loved to wander around with a camera in hand. Throughout his life, he has taken more than 91,000 photographs. His negatives, contact sheets, and later prints of all his photographs were acquired by the library of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The series presented below demonstrates Sid Kaplan's interest in street scenes. Children's games, in particular, in the tradition of Helen Levitt, are a pretext for documenting everyday life with the eyes of a man with a vibrant sensitivity. Accustomed to remaining in the shadows, the work of photographer Sid Kaplan can finally burst into the open with framings that his great masters would certainly not disavow, those he has known how to highlight so well in his darkroom.
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