Exploring the happy accidents and unusual turns of events that lead to memorable images – that‘s the theme of the latest Magnum Photos Square Print Sale.
‘The Unexpected’ bring together images from over 100 visual artists including Eve Arnold, Olivia Arthur, Werner Bischof, Rene Burri, Colby Deal, Raymond Depardon, Thomas Hoepker, Stuart Franklin, Paul Fusco, Harry Gruyaert, Susan Meiselas, Steve McCurry, Cristina de Middel, Martin Parr, Dennis Stock and Alex Webb.
The sale runs for just five days so act now if you want to own a museum-quality print from some of the biggest names in photography for just $100.
“From its earliest days, photography has been associated with the unexpected: documentation of under-explored issues, reporting of events unfurling in far-flung locations, or single frames capturing split seconds of levity,” says Magnum.
“Over more than seven decades, Magnum photographers have reported on and witnessed events around the world which changed societies, nations, and peoples in unpredictable ways.”
The iconic photo agency – founded in Paris in 1947 – holds regular Square Print Sales each year, but the items in the sales are not available outside the sale window.
The images in each sale are always different, and will never be available in this format again.
Click here to browse the full selection (opens in new tab) of the prints available in ‘The Unexpected’ sale.
• Read more: Best cameras for street photography (opens in new tab)
Own a moment from history with a Magnum Square Print
Eve Arnold’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe enjoying ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce depicts a side of the superstar alien to most: pensive, withdrawn, and down to earth.
An unarmed man stepping in front of a tank during the 1989 government crackdown on student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square was an “unexpected act of defiance” and was captured by Stuart Franklin.
Utilizing costume and staging to flex the limits of what ‘documentary’ photography can be, Cristina de Middel experiments with recreating a little known historical space program. Image taken from her series The Afronauts.
‘Sancti Spiritus’, by Alex Webb, Cuba, 1993. From the collaborative book, Violet Isle, with Rebecca Norris Webb.
“In 1998, I was working on an assignment in Mali, staying in a little hotel in Gao, a small town on the River Niger,” recalls Harry Gruyaert.
“It was terribly hot in the hotel. Looking for some air, I went to the room on the top floor. There was an opening in the wall which perfectly framed the landscape outside, while the light coming from another opening was cutting a sharp geometric pattern in the surrounding shadow.
“The air was perfectly still. And just as I started shooting, a sudden draft blew the curtain hanging on the right to a perfect angle. For me, photography is all about trying to be lucky.”
Susan Meiselas, covering the 1979 Sandanista revolution in Nicaragua, photographed Pablo ‘Bareta’ Arauz launching a molotov cocktail at a National Guard HQ.
This image became an unexpected symbol of revolution, which resonated with a generation and has been reproduced on T-shirts, matchbooks, murals and magazines across the world.
The surprising aspect of Thomas Hoepker’s portrait of Muhammad Ali was that it existed at all: this shot of the fighter’s left fist was re-discovered in 2015 as the photographer delved into a vast collection of negatives.
The sale is on for five days only – so don’t delay!
This is a tiny selection of the prints available in ‘The Unexpected’ sale. To browse the full selection, and make a purchase, go to: www.magnumphotos.com/shop (opens in new tab)
Magnum Square Prints are printed on 6×6in (15.24 × 15.24cm) archival paper; image size is 5.5in (14cm) on the longest side. The images will not be cropped but will have white borders instead.
Discover Women Street Photographers – new book on sale now (opens in new tab)
How to shoot street photography like a pro (opens in new tab)
The best coffee-table books on photography (opens in new tab)
Popsa photo book review (opens in new tab)