Photographer André Kertész was born in Budapest. Although he was interested in photography early on, he bowed to the expectations of his family by studying business and taking a job as a clerk at the Budapest Stock Exchange.
In his own time, he photographed Hungarian street scenes, the countryside and, as a soldier during World War I, fellow soldiers.
In 1925, when he was 31, Kertész moved to Paris. The 11 years he lived there were among his most productive. He worked as a freelance photographer for many of the best publications of the day, had his first one-man exhibit, and began to see his work collected by museums. With his innovative use of the hand-held camera and pioneering photojournalistic style, Kertész became a major influence on other photographers, including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Between 1949 and 1962 Kertész worked for Condé Nast in New York City, producing commercial photographs for fashion and style publications. In 1962 he decided to concentrate solely on his own photographs. Kertész's work soon garnered renewed interest, including a one-man show of his photographs at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1964. Kertész died in New York at the age of 91.
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