The Fotomuseum Westlicht is currently hosting the exhibition "Ernst Haas. The Art of Seeing" is currently on display. It pays tribute to the work of the great Austrian-American photographer, who has regrettably received far too little attention in Austria to date. I am grateful that I was able to give the laudatory speech on Ernst Haas. As the child of a Jewish father, Haas was not allowed to complete his school education, and he was also not allowed to study medicine, which was his chosen field of study. He found his way to photography autodidactically. In 1946 he traded margarine for his first camera on the black market in Vienna. By chance, he succeeded in creating a series about war returnees, which made him famous beyond Austria. In the U.S., Haas was one of the first photographers to begin working intensively with color photography and was given the opportunity for the first exhibition at the MOMA devoted solely to his color photographs. Two years later, with his "Images of a Magic City", he became the pioneer of color photography by using the new Kodachrome color films. dem Pionier der Farbfotografie.
Ernst Haas traveled the world. He combined his commercial work with photographs in which he translated his passion for poetry, music, painting and adventure into color images.His book "The Creation" published in 1971 sold 350,000 copies.
Ernst Haas was also a respected set photographer: The Misfits, Little Big Man, Moby Dick, Hello Dolly, West Side Story, to Heaven's Gate. John Huston hired Haas for his film, The Bible. His advertising campaigns also became legendary. The Marlboro Man can be traced back to him. In the midst of working on his autobiography, fate befell him. Ernst Haas died of a stroke on September 12, 1986, at the age of 65.
I see what I think
I see what I feel because I am what I see
If there is nothing to see and I still see it,
If there is something to see and everybody sees it – that’s photography. (Ernst Haas)
Foto oben: New Orleans, 1960 Courtesy Ernst Haas Estate © Ernst Haas/Getty Images