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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 28, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    The greatest photographer you’ve never heard of

    Laurence Mackin

    This weekend sees the opening of this year’s PhotoIreland festival, and one of the key components of the festival is a focus on the work of Luis Ramon Marin.

    In case you missed it, there was an excellent article in last weekend’s Irish Times Magazine on Marin, written by John Banville. Marin was a jobbing photographer who pioneered the sort of everyday street photography made famous be Henri Cartier-Bresson, and there’s not much between the two, other than age – when Marin was starting his career in 1908 at the age of 24, Cartier-Bresson was otherwise occupied being born.

    An autogyro over Madrid in 1934, photographed by Marin. Using a very tall ladder, one assumes

    Although the French photographer went on to much-deserved acclaim, Marin’s work has fallen through the cracks of history, largely because of the photographer’s left-wing sympathies. His work was suppressed, but he kept a meticulous archive that was stashed for decades behind a kitchen wall, which means now we can now appreciate his genius.

    Also in the festival is a selection of the best photo books, selected by photographer Martin Parr. In this interview with Aidan Dunne, he argues that the medium is an art form in its own right (and rather humbly points out that this is a very personal selection). Among those books selected are work by Northern Irish photographer Donovan Wylie, The Kids are Alright by Ryan McGinley and pieces by Dash Snow – the latter is always good for an artistic argument.

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