As it happens with fine wine, the work of some artists gain value, or better said, understanding, with time. It's essential to let age avant-garde ideas, because with astonishing frequency, society isn't ready to truly feel, to fully embrace them.
Such is the case of the exceptional photographer Saul Leiter, who with a premature adoption of color in a black and white era, and a style that subtly drinks from pictorialism, made his work resonate for eternity.
Born in Pennsylvania, in 1923, he began photographing at an early age, although his education was clearly focused on painting. It was not until he moved to New York in 1946 when he established himself as a street photographer. There, and with the influence of the artist Richard Pousette-Dart, he defined a unique and pioneering style for the time. In parallel to his most intimate street photography, he did editorial and fashion works, always printing a unique and personal look in each of his exposures.
In Saul Leiter: Early Color we can find the opera prima of his work. The composition of every photograph is often called chaotic, spontaneous and improvised, but with a careful and exquisite use of color, Saul Leiter fills with visual poetry the streets of a polychromatic but still noir New York. His cinematographic and highly reflective vision, have even inspired films like Carol (2015).
Saul Leiter abandoned us in 2013, at barely three months from the premier of the documentary In No Great Hurry - 13 Lessons in Life With Saul Leiter, but we aren't left empty handed. We have his legacy, his soul. And we still have many years ahead to analyze and delight with his work, until we, naively, can reach the essence of this ever humble man.