Bruno Barbey is a Moroccan-born French photographer (born 1941). A prolific author who likes to express himself through the form of books, Barbey is known particularly for his free and harmonious use of color. Throughout his four-decade career he has traveled across five continents, photographing many wars. Over four decades, Bruno Barbey has journeyed across five continents and numerous world conflicts, though he does not consider himself a war photographer, he nevertheless covered the civil war in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait.
His work has appeared in most major magazines in the world. A prolific author who often exposes and expresses himself in book form, Barbey is especially known for his free and harmonious use of color and has frequently worked in Morocco, the country of his childhood. In 1999, the Petit Palais (Musee des Beaux Arts) of the city of Paris, produced a large exhibition of his photographs taken in Morocco during the past 30 years. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the French “National Order of Merit”, the “Oversees Press Club Award”, and the “University of Missouri Photojournalism Award”.
From 1961 to 1964 he photographed the Italians as protagonists of a small ‘theatrical world’, with the aim of capturing photographically the spirit of a nation.
During that decade he was commissioned by Editions Rencontre in Lausanne to document European and African countries and was also a regular contributor to Vogue magazine. In 1964 Barbey began his relationship with Magnum Photos, and became an Associate member in 1966, and a full member in 1968, a year when he documented the political unrest and the French student riots in Paris. He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 – 1995
He spent 1979 to 1981 photographing Poland, resulting in his book Poland. He rejects the label of ‘war photographer’, although he has covered civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Kuwait. From 2005 Barbey has, among other work, been pursuing a project on Istanbul.
He has been exhibited internationally and his photographs are in the collection of numerous museums, as well as in the Magnum Photos: Photographic Collection at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.
“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.”
- Bruno Barbey
Official site: www.brunobarbey.com