‘Love on the Left Bank’ by Dutch artist
An exhibition of the photo book ‘Love on the Left Bank’ by Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) is being held at Istanbul’s Poligon. The exhibition is curated by Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi.
Van der Elsken was a talented photographer and filmmaker who expressed his encounters with people in photos, photo books and films for more than 40 years. Between 1950 and ‘54 he lived in Paris, where he found a group of marginal souls in the neighborhood of St. Germain des Prés. It was the post-war Paris trying to come to terms with the horror of the war and the Holocaust, searching for the meaning of life through art and philosophy. He focused his photographs around the love life of a young libertine named Ann (In real life she is Vali Myers, who was to become a famous painter. Twenty years later Myers re-appeared in the film of van der Elsken “Death in the Port Jackson Hotel.”) with orange hair, exotic makeup and a beautiful body.
The photography book that resulted is not only regarded as the peak of his work but is also internationally recognized as one of the most extraordinary photography books of the 20th century as well as one of the first with the format of a photo-novel. Elsken later traveled to Japan, the U.S. and Africa and produce many photo books and films.