Working-class voyeur

In extra, Travel Habit News by Prof

Photographer Walker Evans confessed to being a “penitent spy and an apologetic voyeur”. But he wasn’t a pervert or a paparazzo. His photographs appeared in the most glamorous magazines of the 20th century, including Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Yet he never shot a celebrity. Asked why, Evans replied: “It’s an impure thing to do – too easy … people are more interested in the famous person than the photograph.”

Instead Evans trained his forensic lens on typical, everyday objects – vintage buildings and vernacular signs, the roadside and the railway, shop windows and tools, anonymous workers and the unemployed. In Rapid Transit his hidden camera captures subway commuters in unguarded moments. He even reproduced postcards and news agency images. All were shot in what Evans termed a “documentary style”.  Read more.