How the car has inspired world’s leading photographers

Paris CNN  — 

During Argentina’s Dirty War in the 1970s, the green Ford Falcon was the car used by police and government officials. The widespread kidnappings carried out by the dictatorship throughout this period meant that the car took on a horrific new meaning for the Argentinian people.

Photographer Fernando Gutierrez captured a number of Ford Falcons in his “Secuelas” series to highlight this important moment in history.

This is just one example from “Autophoto,” a new exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris that explores the myriad ways cars have become entwined in our lives.

The vast range of images on display (500 images from 100 photographers) include Jacques Henri Lartigue’s seminal early photography, William Eggleston’s vivid depictions of the American South, and more recent selections, such as Jacqueline Hassink’s “Car Girls” and Ronnie Campana’s “Badly Repaired Cars.”

"Los Alamos" series (1974) by William Eggleston

“It was extremely difficult to make a selection of photographs for this show because it is such a popular subject amongst photographers,” said associate curator Leanne Sacramone, who chose 10 significant images from the exhibition for CNN.

“Our original database contained approximately 6000 photographs, which we pared down over time,” she explained.

“We decided to focus on photographers who have shown a predilection for the car as a subject or who have used the car as a ‘tool’ for their work, as if it were an extension of their cameras. We were also interested in other related themes such as how the car has shaped our landscape, urban environment and social behavior.”

“Autophoto” is on at the Fondation Cartier in Paris until Sept. 24, 2017.