Photography: E. J. Bellocq

John Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873 – 1949) E.J. Bellocq’s story is as interesting as his photographs of prostitutes in New Orleans Storyville district. Bellocq was an unexceptional commercial photographer at the turn of the century who took pictures of shiping yards to pay the rent. But Bellocq had also had a secret life. After his death a collection of about one hundred plates was discovered in a drawer of his desk. The plates were portraits of New Orleans prostitutes, dating from about 1912. It is possible that the pictures were made as a commercial assignment, but that seems unlikely.

Only the glass negatives of his work survive, no actual prints were found. Photographer Lee Friedlander purchased them years later and reproduced them in the exact manner of the time using vintage paper and exposure techniques to achieve what he hoped would be the closest approximation of Bellocq’s original vision.

The film “Pretty Baby” starring Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon and Kieth Carridine (as Bellocq) was a very loose translation of his story and that of Storyville.

Advertisements

Posted on May 18, 2011, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: