Art from the heart

Magnum are selling $100 prints, all in the name of freedom
By Finn Blythe | Art | 4 June 2018

USA. Alabama. 1965. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., a group of civil rights demonstrators march from Selma to Montgomery to fight for black suffrage. A young African American man with the word “VOTE” on his forehead.

Top image: Alabama, USA. 1965 © Bruce Davidson / Magnum Photos

Beginning today, Magnum Photos are embarking on the latest iteration of their Square Print Sales. By now you really should know the drill, but there’s always one so let’s make it crystal: this is your chance to pocket the work of the world’s finest photographic talent at bargain price. $100, to be precise. For those of you not up to speed with the going rate for a bit of museum quality art nowadays, the above fee equates to daylight robbery. Take it from us.

With previous sales curated thematically around abstract themes like ‘Great Journeys’, ‘Closer’ and ‘Conditions of the Heart’, this year’s sale sees a collection of works based on the idea of ‘Freedom’. It’s 50 years since 1968’s wave of mass protests rose in the name of civil liberty against intolerance and state oppression, and this year’s photographs celebrate that date and the changes it initiated.


Featuring the work of over 70 photographers, the line-up boasts renowned names such as Bruce Davidson, Bruce Gilden, Burt Glinn, Dennis Stock, Eli Reed, Elliot Erwitt, Martin Parr, Jonas Bendiksen, Raghu Rai, Thomas Dworzak and David Hurn. Alongside their chosen image, each photographer has also included a short blurb detailing the circumstances of their photograph. Here are five of our favourites.

Martin Parr

Freedom comes in many shapes and sizes, but a classic interpretation is high speed travel, say skiing, or riding a bike downhill. Perhaps one of the most recognisable of this genre is the ride in an open top car. This image was taken for the BBC series, ‘From A to B.’ Directed by Nicholas Barker, it explored people’s relationships to their cars.

England. 1994 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Jonas Bendiksen

“‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ John 8:32 These famous words from the Bible were ringing in my head throughout the three years I spent searching for men who claim to be Jesus Christ’s second coming. For INRI Cristo and his 12 disciples, who live in a gated compound outside of Brasília, INRI is the long-awaited Messiah. His disciples claim this knowledge releases them from the dogmas and misunderstandings that plague the rest of humanity. To them, to believe in INRI is the greatest act of emancipation.” 

Brasília, Brazil. 2014. © Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

Bruce Gilden

Freedom to create and make the images I want.”

New York City, USA. 1984 © Bruce Gilden / Magnum Photos

Bruce Davidson

“From 1961 to 1965, I bore witness to various demonstrations in the civil rights movement. In this photograph, a group of civil rights demonstrators march from Selma to Montgomery to fight for the right to vote. Freedom was then, as it remains today, something that had to be fought for.” 

Alabama, USA. 1965 © Bruce Davidson / Magnum Photos

Stuart Franklin 

‘Man is free, but men aren’t. There are no limits to the freedom of one, there is no freedom for all. All is an empty room, a clumsy abstraction until one finds one’s independence is lost.’ – Louis Aragon (1925)

This photograph was taken in late May, 1989, during the Tiananmen Square uprising, led by Chinese students and their supporters. They were protesting corruption and activating for freedom of expression.”

Tiananmen Square. Beijing, China. 1989 © Stuart Franklin / Magnum Photos

‘Freedom’ Magnum’s Square Print Sale runs from 1pm GMT Monday 4 June until 11pm GMT Friday 8 June 2018. Signed and estate stamped, museum quality, 6×6” prints from over 70 artists will be available for $100 from

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