Magnum Photographers Offer Affordable Prints That Ruminate on Escape

“Apartment building. Veles, North Macedonia” (2020) by Jonas Bendiksen. “The murmurations swirled and tossed up in the sky, seemingly free of gravity and friction….” (all images courtesy Magnum Photos)

The latest Magnum Square Print Sale debuts this week, offering an array of exclusive, museum-quality six-by-six inch photographic print offerings under the title Way for Escape. Like the photographers they feature, the prints are an eclectic, international coterie of perspectives on the theme. Over ninety individual works are offered at a purchase point of $100 for this week only.

Each series is unnumbered, but signed or estate-stamped by the artist, and only available during the limited print sale window of July 12–19, 2021. Images that are not square-format will not be cropped, but include white borders to fit the dimension.

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Way for Escape hits most of us at a moment when we all have something to escape from, whether it is the impact of political, environmental, and economic instability — or just our own four walls, after a year of confinement. The images in the series likewise capture all forms of escape, sometimes focusing on freedom of movement, flight, and travel, and sometimes focusing on those conditions from which we might seek escape.

One might think that David Hurn’s archival image of Ringo Starr peering out a train window thronged with female fans has little in common with Cristina de Middel’s uncanny staging of a palm plant in a lit mesh bag, glowing against the backdrop of a darkened forest — but both offer the suggestion of insularity in a wider world.

“Ringo Starr on the train during the filming of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. England, Great Britain” (1964) by David Hurn. “The experience was an eye-opener. I had no idea of the fear within oneself that can be evoked by a swarm of excited followers.”
“Mata Atlántica forest, Brazil” (2020). From the project Boa Noite Povo by Cristina De Middel and Bruno Morais. “After thousands of years of mythology and philosophy, it turns out that destiny and fate were just a database, and the only real escape is not based on distance (physical or emotional) but in randomness, chaos and oblivion.”

These are just two points on a wide spectrum of images that include beach and plane scenes, Nanna Heitmann’s portraits of Siberian followers of the 17th-century Eastern Orthodox Church; the Americana of a 1950s-era road trip by Werner Bischof; Ernest Cole’s 1971 street candid of two women on the street in New York City; and Alec Soth’s meditation on a still life with a bird.

This Magnum print sale offers something to fit any mood, and at the gettable price of $100, an opportunity for original art prints that can fit most budgets. If you can’t get away this week, at least you can get a print.

“Sicily, Italy” (2015) by Peter van Agtmael. “I can escape to the beach, but no matter how hard I try, I have trouble escaping from my camera.”
“New York City. USA” (1971) by Ernest Cole. “As Bobby Womack sang in 1972: ‘You can find it all in the street, yes you can, oh look around you, look around you, look around you.’”
“After the Ali-Foreman boxing fight. Kinshasa, Zaire” (1974) by A. Abbas. “The next day, I found Ali. It was like meeting Dr. Jekyll after rubbing shoulders with Mr. Hyde. He was calm, pensive; he no longer needed to perform.”


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