The Swiss photographer René Burri has died at the age of 81, his agency Magnum Photos has announced. In a statement released on Magnum’s website, a spokesperson for Burri’s family stated:
“The famous Swiss photographer René Burri left us today, at the age of 81 after a long illness.”
Born in Zurich, Burri swiftly became one of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th century, famed and revered for his compassionate documentation of human joy and suffering across the world. Burri became most well known for his photographs of the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, taken in 1963.
More recently, Burri collaborated with Rei Kawakubo in 2012 on limited edition Comme des Garçons t-shirts and allowed the brand to reappropriate his images for the brand’s printed announcements and invitations. “Looking back, I didn’t have the patience to work in fashion. I like women so much, but I was never qualified to torture them in photo shoots. You have to be really tough and brutal,” Burri told AnOther.
Martin Parr, the president of Magnum Photos said in a statement: “Not only was he one of the great post war photographers, he was also one of the most generous people I have had the privilege to meet. His contribution to Magnum and his unrivalled ability to tell stories and entertain us over this time will be part of his enormous legacy.”