Arts & Culture

Blue Monday

A selection of images from the Magnum archive that explore the fascination with the color blue and its many hues.

Frozen Lake Huron. Eastern Michigan Peninsula, USA, 2015. © Peter Van Agtmael / Magnum Photos

This Blue Monday we have put together a collection of posters that explore our fascination with the color and its many hues. The collection — available to browse on the Magnum Shop here — traces blue across landscapes, from a frozen Svalbard to Niagara Falls, and through interiors from an abandoned hotel room to a ballerina’s stage.

In one image, an uncompromising landscape hides within it a promise of growth in Jonas Bendiksen’s quiet study of Svalbard’s seed bank. Buried within the ice is a store of seeds, known as the ‘Doomsday Vault,’ that act as a safety deposit for the world’s crops. Bendkisen photographed the vault with the sun glinting on its entrance, a hopeful contrast to the foreboding blue of the arctic sky.

In another, the almost clinical blue of the sky in Gregory Halpern’s shot is softened by soft pink buds and unfurling leaves; the early signs of spring. A pair of trainers mark the spot, suspended from a branch they are comically ineffectual. Taken from his award-winning photobook ZZYZX, the image reflects the book’s blend of landscape photography and street portraiture. 

Mainly known for his black and white architectural photography, a photograph by René Burri is striking for its exploration of color. Burri takes a room in a former brothel, destroyed by bombing in the Lebanese Civil War of 1975–1990, and transforms it into a paean to blue. Layers of color are revealed by peeling paint and Burri’s careful framing of the abandoned room.

A crewman of a Cunard freighter signals another ship of an Allied convoy en route to Great Britain from the U.S. Their ship is carrying seven airplanes, two torpedo boats, and twelve passengers who (...)
The entrance to the seed vault. Svalbard, Norway, 2016. © Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum Photos
Falls 26. USA/Canada, 2005. © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos
Alfred Hitchcock during the filming of "The Birds." USA, 1962. © Philippe Halsmann / Magnum Photos
Benidorm, Spain, 1997. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Marilyn Monroe. New York, USA, 1959. © Philippe Halsmann / Magnum Photos
Fountain City. Wisconsin, USA, 2002. © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos
Los Angeles, USA. © Gregory Halpern / Magnum Photos
A traditional horse race of the Tuvinese National Festival Naadym in the steppe, at 43 degrees. The horses and their riders cover a distance of 30 km. Seven horses died in the heat. Kyzyl, Russia, (...)
Hotel Marika. Beirut, Lebanon, 1991. © René Burri / Magnum Photos
The walls of the old city. Chefchaouen, Morocco. © Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos
Ballerina Julia dances five hours a day at the Ballet Academy. In addition to ballet lessons, also normal school subjects are taught. Julia dreams of becoming a ballerina. Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 2018 (...)

View the full Blue Collection here.

You can save 20% on all posters, including limited editions and posters signed by the photographer, with the discount code WALLS until midnight on January 31, 2024.

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