Cynthia Young, conservative of Robert Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, he is one of the people who best knows the work of the photographer and Gerda Taro. In an interview via mail with ABC, Young confirms that “there are about ten images that were attributed to Capa and now they are to Taro.” Also, you have recently discovered several snapshots of David Seymour, Chim, which were previously attributed to Capa. Could there be more attribution dances in the future? «Work in the archive is always open. It never ends, because we are always discovering something new that changes our understanding, ”replies Young.
How did you distinguish the photo authorship that were not signed? “Much of the work has been carried out through cross-references from various sources to confirm the authorship of a photograph,” says the curator of the Capa Archive. We use the original magazines where the work appeared, the negatives, the information on the back of the prints and the notebooks of the photographers. Once you gather all the sources you can know who took each image ».
About whether both photographers signed under the «Layer» brand, Cynthia Young warns: “I am not convinced that Taro has ever” published “under the” Capa “brand. Capa was the name by which Robert Capa called himself a photographer. When they started, it was normal for photographers not to sign their work. But that started to change and I think they both understood that they had their own identity as people and as photographers. Did Robert Capa and Gerda Taro share themes and styles? «His subjects were actually very similar; in fact, they photographed several of the same stories together, side by side. Taro’s work could have a greater composition from the graphic point of view and diagonal lines harder than Capa’s. His style began to relax in the months before his death. They learned from each other. Both changed the point of view that people had about Spain ».
For Young, “it is essential that Gerda Taro be seen as herself as a person and photographer. For many years it was not known at all, and, if they mentioned her, it was like Capa’s girlfriend». As for the images attributed to both photographers (in the Reina Sofia collection there are three cases), he explains that these are those in which the story was signed «Capa y Taro» in the magazines: «In the impressions that We have in the ICP Collection are stamped as such. We do not have the negatives, so there is no more information. For now, until we get new information, it is better to designate both as authors ».