Aperture's edition of Koudelka: Gypsies rekindles the energy and astonishment of this foundational body of work by master photographer Josef Koudelka. Lavishly printed in a unique quadratone mix by artisanal printer Gerhard Steidl, it offers an expanded look at "Cikáni" (Czech for "gypsies" )—109 photographs of Roma society taken between 1962 and 1971 in then–Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia), Romania, Hungary, France and Spain. The design and edit for this volume revisits the artist's original intention for the work, and is based on a maquette originally prepared in 1968 by Koudelka and graphic designer Milan Kopriva. Koudelka intended to publish the work in Prague, but was forced to flee Czechoslovakia, landing eventually in Paris. In 1975, Robert Delpire, Aperture and Koudelka collaborated to publish Gitans, la fin du voyage (Gypsies, in the English-language edition), a selection of 60 photographs taken in various Roma settlements around East Slovakia. Gypsies includes more than 30 never-before-published images.
Mr. Koudelka's stark images depict the poverty and clannishness of Gypsy life, but unlike many documentary photographers, he does not present their situation as a social problem that can somehow be fixed. Instead, he shows the Gypsies as perpetual outsiders, and their life as a primal mix of glee and wonder, sorrow and mystery. –The New York Times
Koudelka brings to life the even older world of the Roma gypsies that he encountered in his travels in the late 1960s and early 1970s in images that resonate with mystery and ritual, romance and hardship. –The Guardian