Roger Melis - Paris by foot

Paris zu Fuß

Roger Melis

Published in 1986, the book PARIS by foot was the first example of an East German photographer making use of street photography exclusively to portray life in a foreign city. The work of Roger Melis, who is known first and foremost as a portrait and fashion photographer, it gained true cult status and 40,000 copies were sold.

The pictures were taken in April 1982, when Melis was permitted to spend four weeks on the Seine. Unintimidated by the iconic images of this place of yearning, he wandered the streets of Paris, day by day, and succeeded in creating a portrayal of the city that lived up to his own credo. Melis did not seek sensationalism, preferring instead to reflect everyday life on the streets of Paris. This is quite likely the reason the photographs had such a strong impact in the GDR and kindled people’s desire to break down walls and to travel.

To mark Roger Melis’s 80th birthday, the gallery argus fotokunst is showcasing a selection of the best photographs – original prints from his estate.