René Burri’s original photo from São Paulo in 1960. Credit René Burri/Magnum Photos
Are they gangsters? Are they bankers?
There are certain photographs that seem to have been pulled out of the world of dreams. ‘‘Men on a Rooftop,’’ by the Swiss photographer René Burri (1933–2014), is one such picture.
The photograph, taken in São Paulo in 1960, shows four men on a rooftop, seen from the vantage point of an even higher building.
Far below them, stark in black and white, are tram lines and cars, and tiny pedestrians so perfectly matched with their long shadows that they look like miniaturized sculptures by Giacometti.