Eugene Atget was a famous street photographer in Paris who helped define street photography. At the time I think it was considered “Documentary Photography” – but his shop window photographs are simply amazing – and I remember (clearly) getting many of my street photography ideas from studying his photography back in the 80’s. They seemed so simple and complex at the same time. They were photo’s that really stuck in my mind – not because they were shocking – but because they were more like a slow quiet but intense song.
The best part of his photography is that yes – its documentary and street photography – but in many cases also surreal and he fit into the Surrealist movement wonderfully. In fact – Atget was a forerunner of Dada and Surrealism – where “Reality is Stranger than Fiction” . . . he did influence many Surrealists with his early pioneering work.