La Vague, circa 1932
© Karoly Escher
Vintage silver gelatin print
21.10.11890, Szekszard – 16.02.1966, Budapest
Karoly Esche became interested in photography at the early age of ten, making a crude camera out of a cigar box, receiving his first proper camera soon afterwards at the age of twelve. Although Escher studied engineering and became a qualified engineer, he maintained his interest for photography, and for a while his career bounced between being an engineer and a cameraman.
His professional career as a photographer kicked off in 1928, when he was invited to work for the magazine Az Est (Evening) as the replacement for the famous photographer Munkacsi. Escher soon became the most important Hungarian photojournalist acclaimed for being objective in the face of the ongoing political bias in media. He was also a pioneer of the 35mm photography and the use of blurred motion. During his career he has worked for numerous magazines, e.g. Kepes Figyelo (Visual Observer).
Escher has received numerous awards, like first prize at the Modern Photography exhibition in London (1931), the grand prix at the World Expo of Applied arts in Milan (1934), and a gold medal at the first International Photography Exhibition (1957). In recognition of his work he has also earned the Hungarian People’s Republic Distinguished Artist Award (1965).