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ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985) Distortion # 86A, Paris, 1933 gelatin silver print titled in pencil and copyright credit stamp (on the verso) image/sheet: 4 5/8 x 6 5/8in. (12 x 17cm.)

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Kertész photographed distortions through water or mirrors on occasion when he encountered them. He also made some deliberate distortions to achieve a particular effect sometimes for advertising or illustration purposes. In 1930, the editor of the magazine VU, Lucien Vogel commissioned him to make portraits in a funhouse mirror of the multi-talented editor Carlo Rim. Those portraits inspired the editor of Le Sourire to ask Kertész to make a series of distorted nudes in 1933. Kertész acquired a flexible mirror from the flea market and set to work using two different models. He made around 200 completed distortions that he titled with a number. When printing the negatives he most often chose to crop out as much of the background as he could to maintain the figures suspended in a timeless surreal world. Kertész’ nude distortions form a distinct corpus within his oeuvre that was finally published with 126 photographs as the book Distortions in 1976.

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