Harold Feinstein: Life as It Was

At the Bigaignon Gallery until the end of March 2022, the humanist vision of one of the most talented American photographers of his generation, Harold Feinstein. After two extraordinary first exhibitions in 2017 and 2018, we complete what we announced as a trilogy, with this exhibition entitled “Life as it was”.

If the first part of the retrospective dedicated to the American artist who passed away in 2015 honored the contagious optimism of the photographer as he portrayed the youthful and carefree spirit of the post-war period, the second showed a selection of photographs taken between 1964 and 1988, immortalizing particular moments of the life of New Yorkers. This new selection of photographs, taken between 1949 and 1988, completes a real immersion in the daily life of his contemporaries, depicting life as it was, with particular attention to these unique characters of all ages, all social conditions, and all backgrounds. the photographer liked to shoot.

Representing the New York School of Photography, Harold Feinstein’s work spans nearly six decades, a period during which he strives to create an intimate portrait of an exuberant and vibrant America. Whether on the waterfront along the beaches of Coney Island or in the lively streets of Manhattan, Harold Feinstein’s photographs bear witness to the daily life of his countrymen and once again testify to the artist’s talent. Grace and spontaneity are at the heart of his photographs and his mastery of composition is more evident than ever.

This new selection of 16 extraordinarily joyful and human black and white photographs transports us to what the artist called “a small photographic journey that testifies to the beauty and mystery of this human life” and will be completed throughout the exhibition. from a series of screenings of the documentary entitled “Last Stop Coney Island: The Life & Photography of Harold Feinstein” made in 2019 by director Andy Dunn.

Finally, a color photograph, never shown before, closes the exhibition. In this image, a true jewel, between perfect composition and exceptional plays of light, reminiscent of Hopper, Harold Feinstein portrays the loneliness, as if the artist wanted to show us through the use of color what the modern world would become.

About the Author

Harold Feinstein was born in Coney Island, NY in 1931. He passed away in his home in Merrimac, MA on June 20, 2015. He began his career in photography in 1946 at the age of 15 and within four short years, Edward Steichen, an early supporter, had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He joined the Photo League at 17 and became a prominent figure in the vanguard of the early New York City street photography scene where he exhibited at Helen Gee’s Limelight Gallery and was a designer for historic Blue Note Records.

A portrait of Harold Feinstein by Judith Thompson, 1995, Maine.

He was one of the original inhabitants of the legendary “Jazz Loft,” which he later turned over to his long-time collaborator and colleague W. Eugene Smith for whom he designed the original lay-out of the famous Pittsburgh Project.
Throughout his life he was known as an inspirational teacher, having led classes at numerous institutions as well as private workshops.
Feinstein is also regarded as an innovator in his craft, pioneering and writing about darkroom techniques as well as earning the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in 2000 for his breakthrough work using digital scanography to create images of flowers, botanicals, seashells, and butterflies.

Harold Feinstein: LIFE AS IT WAS
27 JANUARY – 26 MARCH 2022
Bigaignon Gallery – Paris

More info on:



Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account