Frank Horvat: Please Don't Smile

Image of Frank Horvat: Please Don't Smile
Release Date: 
February 23, 2016
Hatje Cantz
Reviewed by: 

Frank Horvat is considered to be one of the most influential and notable photographers of the 20th century, and yet he is not as well known as many of his colleagues. Horvat, alive and well and living in Paris, is one of few remaining of his caliber, is why this book becomes so important as Horvat generously shares his life.

Please Don’t Smile is an amazing monograph devoted to the life, career, and output of this incredible photographer. Horvat primarily worked in black and white and with a backdrop of whatever city he happened to be working in at the time. The subject matter reflects the diverse interests of a man who traveled the world and mingled among the unfashionable as well.

Not only do you have a timeline/autobiography of Horvat’s life but there are also remembrances from those who worked with him during his career. These memories are not only from models, editors, publishers, and clients but also from the behind the scenes staffs who labor in silence while assisting in creating some of the memorable images we retain in our minds. There can be no greater compliment or testimonial to an artist such as Horvat than to be respected as well as adored by those who worked with him.

Please Don’t Smile has such varied appeal whether from a photography, fashion, human, or historical standpoint. Anyone who fancies him- or herself a fashionphile or aficionado of great photography should immediately add this to their library. This book deserves to be read as well as perused many times over.