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Jean-Philippe Charbonnier (August 28, 1921 – May 28, 2004) was a Frenchphotographer. His father was a painter, his mother a writer. Jean-philippe was born in an elegant and well educated family. In 1939, when he was studying German, he received a camera. Because of this he will soon stop his studies. Because of the war, he escape his hometown and go to Lyon, Marseille, Toulon; he arrive in Switzerland where he meet with Jean Manevy who will teach him the art of typography and journalism.
In 1948, he became the technical editor in chief for Liberation, then he work for such magazines like France Dimanche and Point de Vue. In 1950, he is appointed reporter for the magazine Réalités, he then specialize in French daily life stories. Starting from that time, he will travel the world. He photograph China as soon as 1955, Moscow during the cold war, Koweit, the former French Equatorial Africa or Alaska.
Like Walker Evans in the US, his images reflect the actuality.
Today his photographs are historical documents showing us the transformation of our society between 1945 and 2004. Jean-Philippe Charbonnier was married to Agathe Gaillard, in 1975 they open the first photography gallery in Paris, the Agathe Gaillard Gallery. Today, the gallery still exist.