Né en 1934 à Chicago, Robert McCabe reçoit pour ses 5 ans son premier appareil photo : un Kodak Baby Brownie. Adolescent, il photographie les accidents de voiture dans les rues de New York et s’intéresse à la photo de presse. Vers 15 ans, il prend conscience que la photographie peut aussi créer une forme de poésie
En 1954, il fait son premier voyage en France et en Grèce. En 1955, il retourne en Grèce et voyage sur un cargo avec son Rolleiflex avec un 75 mm Zeiss. Les photos de ce voyage furent pour la première fois exposées en 1954 et 1955 à Princeton University. Depuis ces images ont fait l’objet de cinq expositions personnelles aux Etats-Unis et de huit expositions en Grèce. En 1957, le National Geographic lui commande son premier travail sur la Grèce en couleurs. En 1959, il se rend au Pôle Sud comme photojournaliste pour un magazine new-yorkais, le Sunday Mirror Magazine.
Pendant très longtemps McCabe a fait ses propres tirages. Maintenant, il travaille en étroite collaboration avec le laboratoire Idolo de George et Sophie Marinos à Athènes. Robert McCabe parle couramment français et s’est toujours intéressé à la France et sa culture. Au collège, il avait déja reçu le prix Molière par le gouvernement français et au lycée, le French Prize Award. Il passe son temps entre New York, Athènes et Paris. Sa femme Dina, est née en Grèce et a étudié le journalisme et les sciences politiques à Paris. Leurs deux enfants ont fait leurs études en France.
Dans le cadre du mois de la Photo à Paris, la galerie Sit Down a exposé les clichés de Robert Mc Cabe en novembre 2008 sous le haut patronage de S.E Dimitrios Paraskevopoulos, ambassadeur de Grèce en France.
Selection d'expositions :
23 avril - 29 mai 2016, Citronne Gallery, Grèce
Wooden Boats of the Aegean, 1954-64
10 octobre 2013 - 5 janvier 2014, Benaki Museum, Athènes, Grèce
Greek Seas: A Photographic Journey
24 juillet - 25 août 2013, The Old School, Patmos, Grèce
Patmos: Pathways of Mystery
Octobre 2012, Museum of Asian Art, Corfu, Grèce
China - Greece: Ancient Peoples, Changing Worlds
17 avril - 12 mai 2010, The Hellenic Center, Londres, Angleterre
Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land, 1954-1965
7 novembre 2008 - 17 janvier 2009, galerie SIT DOWN, Paris, France
Mois de la Photo 2008
juillet - aout 2007, Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, New York City, USA
Avril 2007, Eynard Mansion, Athènes
Havana, Cuba Photos
7 juillet - 25 aout 2006, Santorin, Grèce
Greece Photos "Santorini and the Aegean: the Innocent Years"
Robert McCabe was born in Chicago in 1934, one of four sons of a newspaperman.
His interest in photography developed after his father was selected to run a picture newspaper in New York—the “Daily Mirror”--and after he was given a Kodak Baby Brownie Special at age five. His initial interest was in photographing newsworthy events and people. As a teenager he went out in the streets of New York City in “Mirror” radio cars, chasing down stories with staff photographers. He photographed people hit by cars and trains, grounded ships in a hurricane, and a few celebrities, including General Douglas MacArthur and John Foster Dulles. He thought he understood freedom of the press in the U.S. until the day as a teenager he was arrested for photographing a child who had drowned on Westchester county owned property.
His favorite publication in his youth was “U.S. Camera Annual,” which he studied each year as soon as it appeared. It presented the work of photographers like Adams, Avedon, Halsman, Karsh, Orkin, Elisofon, Hoyningen-Heune, Brandt, and many others.
In 1949, when he went away to school in western Massachusetts, in the tranquil rural village of Deerfield, his interests shifted. He photographed scenery, fellow students, sports, and still lifes. He developed a sense that the camera could be used to create a form of poetry, communicating insight and emotion.
McCabe’s first visit to France and Greece was in 1954, and he returned to Greece in 1955, traveling on a freighter.
He carried a Rolleflex with a 75mm f 3.5 Zeiss lens and used primarily Plus-X film. His photographs from those trips were first exhibited in 1954 and 1955 in Firestone Library at Princeton University. Since then his work has been presented in five one man exhibitions in the U.S. and eight in Greece.
In 1957 he was asked by the National Geographic Society to photograph in Greece, which led to his first work in color. And in 1959 he traveled to the South Pole as a photojournalist for a New York based magazine. For many years McCabe maintained a darkroom and made all his own prints, but now he works closely with the Idolo laboratory in Greece, run by George and Sophie Marinos.
He has published four books of photographs: “Metamorphosis”; “GREECE: Images of an Enchanted Land 1954-1965”; “Weekend in Havana”; and “On the Road with a Rollei in the ‘50s”. Two more books are currently in production, one about Antarctica and the other ancient Mycenae. A book of his color work is in the planning stages. “GREECE” was originally published in December 2004 and is now in its fourth printing. It records a landscape and way of life that have all but vanished in the ensuing waves of tourism. His images have been selected for several book covers, and have appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers.
McCabe has had a longstanding interest in France and French culture. In high school he was awarded the Moliere medal by the French Government on the basis of a nationwide competition, and at Deerfield he was awarded the French Prize. For many years he was a trustee of the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston. He currently spends his time between New York, Athens, and Paris. His wife, Dina, was born in Greece and studied journalism and political science in Paris. Both of their children have studied in France. General Georges Doriot, the French-born Harvard Business School professor and pioneer venture capitalist, is the godfather of their children.
McCabe believes that “The most successful photographs represent a form of poetry, and go well beyond the depiction of a person, an object, or a place, or even a satisfying visual composition. Just as a short poem can create a vivid emotional experience, so too can an image. Such photographs can evoke in our souls much more than the direct visual content of the photograph.” Solo Exhibitions 2008 : On the Road with a Rollei in the "50's" 2006 : Santoorini and the Aegan The Years of Innocence Greece in honor of Queen Sophie Greece 2005 : Greece : the Years of Innocence 1967 : Greece 1962 : Paris 1960 : Travelling exhibition in the US. Greece 1955 Mycenae Paris Greece 1954 : Greece