With portraits by Christer Strömholm, Ed van der Elsken, and Diane Arbus’s teacher, Lisette Model,
from the 1940s to the 1960s, Kicken II will provide a companion show to complement Diane Arbus’s approach to her human counterparts.
Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken visualized the existentialist attitude toward life in the 1950s. He focuses on individual existence and its dreams within an of ten disenchanted reality; like Arbus, he also pictures outcasts, bohemians, and transvestites. The latter are also a key subject to Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, who created a strikingly empathic and personal series on transvestites between 1954 and 1965 in the Paris entertainment district of Montmartre. His images reveal a microcosm of the universal human state of mind: the nightlife documentary and informal portraits of transvestites, transsexuals, and prostitutes of Place Blanche attest in a warm, personal way the quest for self-identity.
Lisette Model, too, focuses mainly on the human portrait. She found her subjects in nightlife and in pleasure grounds, of ten on the fringes of society, but also at the opera or jazz clubs. Model of ten angled her camera slightly upward, getting close to her subjects and thus revealing her own astonishment and passion in view of the common marvels of the obvious world.