Founding Father: a Look at the Work of the 35MM Godfather Lucien Aigner
Godfather, founding father, OG, pioneer, whatever you want to call him, there’s no doubt that Lucien Aigner is one of the most iconic and leading men in the 35MM film photography game. And thanks to the incredible publication Victory Journal, who brought the late-great man’s work back to mind, we’re here now to pay it forward to you dear reader. Calling himself a “photo-storyteller,” Aigner, a Hungarian-born immigrant and refugee, who then moved to America, was known in his time for being a fearless documentarian of street life and all corners of street culture, despite his five-foot-four size.
While today’s photographic landscape and the fact that everyone and their youngest sibling owns a decent camera means the obtrusiveness of candid photography is more normal than ever, back in the 30s and 40s, it wasn’t so easy. But despite that, Aigner–now regarded as a legendary photojournalist–paved the way in the industry, specifically in film, as his weapon of choice was an early generation 35MM Leica. To get somewhat of an idea of just how important his work is, the likes of oh, say… Churchill, Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Haile Selassie have all been graced with Aigner’s lens. Have a look at some of his incredible work throughout, then head here to learn more about the man.