"THE REBELS, THE GANGSTERS, THE BOHEMIANS, THE ARTISTS"
VAN DER ELSKEN, Ed. Parijs, Fotos 1950-1954. Amsterdam: Anthon Beeke, 1981. Slim quarto, original black cloth, mounted cover photograph. $1500.
First edition of this revealing photo-essay on Parisian life in the early 1950s, illustrated with 172 pages of finely screened halftones, with a special segment on Australian “femme fatale” Vali Myers, featured in his first photobook, Love on the Left Bank.
Parijs "derives from the years when Van der Elsken lived in Paris— between 1950 and 1954— focusing on an especially personal body of work that he made at the time: diaristic snapshots of girlfriends and acquaintances living on the Left Bank (Parr & Badger, 245). "Throughout these years, Van der Elsken and William Klein often seemed to be shadowing one another… always emphacizing the expressive over the reportorial and always gravitating to society's margins— to the rebels, the gangsters, the bohemians, the artists" (Roth, 156). Van der Elsken used many existing photographs he had taken of one particular girlfriend, the "kohl-eyed" Australian beauty Vali Myers, known later as "the Witch of Positano," for the way she darkened her under-eyes with black paint. Text in Dutch. See Icons of Photography, 141; Roth, 146; Parr & Badger, 245; Open Book, 168.