On The Road for 40 Years with Photographer, Josef Koudelka

Listen, I have never had any hero in my life or in photography. I just travel, I look and everything influences me…. For 40 years I have been traveling. I never stay in one country more than three months. Why? Because I was interested in seeing, and if I stay longer I become blind. —Josef Koudelka

Beirut, Palestine, Spain, Ireland, Great Britain, Israel, and France as well as Romania…

I first was aware of Josef Koudelka’s photography when I saw a variety of photographs taken during the Prague Spring collapsed under Soviet oppression which finally gave way to the invasion in 1968. Koudelka was among several photographers (representing Magnum, LIFE,& BlackStar) who shot the oncoming tanks.

Student on tank, eyes crossed out, from the series Invasion, 1968. Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago, promised gift of a private collector. © Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos.
Student on tank, eyes crossed out, from the series Invasion, 1968. Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago, promised gift of a private collector. © Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos.
Prague, Negative, 1968.  Image courtesy of and © Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos
Prague, Negative, 1968. Image courtesy of and © Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos

Here are two links to see more of Josef Koudelka’s photos.

The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition draws on the photographer’s extensive holdings of his own work and on recent major acquisitions by the Art Institute, including the complete surviving contents of the debut presentation of Gypsies in 1967 (22 photographs), as well as ten Invasion images printed by the photographer just weeks after the event. Also on display are early experimental and theater photographs and some of the photographer’s beautifully produced accordion books—which stretch dozens of feet when unfoldedhttp://www.artic.edu/exhibition/josef-koudelka-nationality-doubtful

• THE GETTY CENTER: Josef Koudelka | Nationality Doubtful continues through March 22 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. Information.

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