Native New Yorker and now Paris-based photographer Richard Kalvar has spent more than 50 years observing humanity through his camera’s lens. With Selected Writings, he shifts his gaze from what people reveal through their actions and facial expressions to what they write: graffiti, signs, t-shirts, banners, gravestones and other public inscriptions. In this work, irony and tenderness struggle for the upper hand. Kalvar’s black-and-white photographs span his career from the late 1960s to the present, and were taken in locations across the Western world, especially in Paris, New York and London. From the odd to the surprising to the outright funny, they give a decidedly subjective overview of the public use of the written word.

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox

Stay in touch
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.