Category Archives: Photography
From photographer Gil Rigoulet – “For four months, I followed Marco, Raynald, Michel, Éric, Boumé, Lionel, Titi, Denis, Alan, Jimmy, Laurent, Bouboule, and others, at home in their bedrooms, at work, in the King Bee record shop, at the market where they’d buy their outfits, and on their nights out. The boys all dreamed of moving to the United States and listening to Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, and Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers. They usually met up at the Liberty Bar, which dated back to the time when American air forces were based at Evreux in the early years of the Cold War. They hung out in parking lots where they repaired their classic cars—French Simcas, not Chevys”.
“Over the course of a few months, I went from being a photojournalist interested in them as subjects to someone they knew well; they invited me over to their houses, and I’d have lunch with their parents. After a while, they even invited me to come along to their hair appointments. Their salon was owned by Mr. Tuffier—a man who always wore glasses, a goatee, and a wide tie with a floral print. That was an honor: Mr. Tuffier was the quiffmaster of Evreux, so a visit to him was the most sacred of their activities”.
Burlesque, Burlesk, Burly-Q. However you spell it it’s still all the same – Great! Burlesque as a form of entertainment lasted a good long time. Starting in the 1860’s and sort of ending in the 1960’s with a resurgence in the 2000’s, Burlesque basically meant Variety Show with (hopefully) a striptease in there somewhere. It evolved into pretty much all Striptease by the 1950’s. Never overly raunchy or pornographic, Burly-Q was all about suggestion, the hope to see a shapely leg or glimpse of a breast. Toward the 60’s it got a bit dirtier, but as they say, “The times, they were a-changin'”.
Anders Petersen is a Swedish photographer born in 1944 and still active today. From 1967 – 1970 he photographed the regulars (street hustlers, pimps, prostitutes and crazy people) of the Cafe Lehmitz in Hamburg Germany. The resulting book was first published in 1978 by Schirmer/Mosel in Germany. Café Lehmitz has since become regarded as a seminal book in the history of European photography. I found out about it (I’m embarrassed to say) from researching the Tom Waits LP cover of Rain Dogs. I always thought the man in the photo was Tom. Needless to say, he is not. His name is actually Rose, and the photo is called Lily and Rose and is actually the cover of the Cafe Lehmitz book.
The Victorians got up to a lot of shenanigans and had some pretty odd customs and past-times. They made elaborated brooches and dioramas from the hair of a dead loved ones. They photographed the dead as if they were still alive, sitting upright, eyes open, or holding their poor dead babys. They had a general obsession with taxidermy (they stuffed anything). They made hats out of cats, birds and other small animals. They loved anything gothic (Dracula, Frankenstein and Dr. Jeyckl and Mr. Hyde came from the period). Freak shows were a main stay – think Elephant Man. And for whatever reason they liked to photograph themselves w/ skeletons. Some of these would be deemed risque, some just weird and probably one or two from some long forgotten gothic theater. I think they were just bored and need to stretch out a bit from all the rules of the day-to-day Victorian society.
We all know there’s deeper, darker more important events happening right now – and goddamn that orange turd, but here’s a bit of rock n roll love to get you through the day. Stay strong, love when you can and keep laughing. Let’s start with Bowie and Iman (who would be barred from entering the US today).