#862 - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

Backstage at the Folies Bergeres, 1960/Printed 2002
#862 - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

“To me exotic is a subway ticket away from my home. There is no need for me to buy a round trip ticket to Japan. I photographed people not always without cruelty, certainly, but with an impassioned interest with a lucid tenderness”

~ Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

I have alway thought Jean-Philippe was a really wonderful but completely underrated French photographer vis-à-vis his contemporaries like Boubat and Dosineau and Ronis. He had the same charm as they did. He certainly did an enormous amount of foreign assignments as one of the key photojournalists for the prestigious French magazines “Realities”. In this tender image he adhered to his own mantra and jumped on a subway to the celebrated “Folies Bergeres” music hall. This is not the typical image one would see at this venue. This is a backstage shot far away from the glitz and the glamour just before the show goes on or just after it is over. It adds another dimension to the word “nonchalance” judging by the expression on the dancer’s face. A bit like just another day at the office In 1960