René Burri, one degree of separation between me and Che Guevara

I met one of my favorite photographers, René Burri, last week! A few years ago, I fell in love with this beautiful image of Brazil I discovered on Burri’s great photography book:

In 1963 while working in Cuba, he made portraits of a young Che Guevara:

I went to see Burri exposing his Vintage elegant shots of the polymath architect/urbanist, Le Corbusier:

The photographer has managed to catch the architect in his creative modes/moods:

I found out that often times, Le Corbusier didn’t even notice Burri taking his picture:

I particularly like this one:

Burri was present at La Tourette monastery with Le Corbusier and he recorded some very interesting images of the monks surrounding the architect in 1959:

I love this monk (with the hat) listening in the conversation below:

Artist and photo-reporter in one, Burri, started to shadow Le Corbusier while still a student—he became the visual chronicler and personal photographer of the architect:

The whole exhibition was a glimpse into the creative life of Le Corbusier (not being among my favorite architects, I was never particularly curious about him); I learned much about his work thanks to Burri.

The master was present to kindly sign books,

and learning that I am Iranian, he tried to add another word to his autograph: cheilechoub (ch in Swiss German sounds like kh) or “very good” in Persian:

Check out some of Burri’s work here.

To see the breadth of his work (eye) visit Magnum’s site here.

To see an interesting view about Che Guevara go here.

6 thoughts on “René Burri, one degree of separation between me and Che Guevara

  1. Dear Michele

    Thanks for making our life so much richer with your wonderful post..It reminded me of Life Magazines issues which I use to explore in my childhood..

    They have recorded emotions to feel deeply with a single image that cause our hearts to open and minds to focus on another’s Life-

    Every picture manages to capture a profound moment which goes beyond the picture itself, and tells a sentimental story, or better said, truth, which maps our society’s past.

    Gratitude for sharing these exceptional moments..

  2. Bravo Michele… You opened an amazing window to the beauty of art… The magnificent works of Burri on Luis Barragan (Mexican Architect)are just exquisite.
    Thank you Michele

  3. Michele and Rene’

    Down here is South Florida it is not fashionable to romanticize and feel privileged over photographing Guevara.

    Here is real demonic assassin of over 10,000 freedom loving Cuban people and incompetent fighter who lost every battle he lead including his final in Bolivia. We have his hand as a momento.

  4. So how old is Rene Burri? He should be an ancient man.

    I enjoyed his photos and the major link which showed most of his works. Though I knew of him and had seen perhaps very limited photos of his in Chicago galleries, but I now feel I know a glimpse of him, thanks to you.

    Just keep up your good work of educating people with more depth and commentaries. You are like an online arts prof. with great eyes and compassion.

  5. Les photos sur lesquelles on voit des religieux (des moines) ont été prises par René Burri lors de la construction du couvent Notre-Dame de la Tourette, dans les environs de Lyon.

    Che Gevara, quoiqu’asthmatique, fumait des lanceros, des cigares spécialement fabriqué pour les dirigeants cubains par Cohiba.

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