Carlo Mollino

Posted in caught by juliobesq on October 24, 2009

I feel I’ve come to the party too late. And what a fantastic party it would have been. Until June there has been an exhibition of Carlo Mollino’s work here in London. And I found at about him last weekend.

Chatting at the lab about lo-fi erotica with fellow rock Holgist Brian from, waiting for our clip tests to develop, he asks if I like the work of Mr Mollino. Ignorance. Google to the rescue.

Carlo Mollino is a well renowned furniture designer and architect, noted for his lavish interiors with attention to handcrafted detail, as well as respected photographer. But beyond that he lived a life with an sybaritic exuberance that reads like a Scott Fitzgerald playboy.

Here’s a quick round-up of his endevours aside from the above: winning the 24-hour race at La Mans is a car of his own design; writing a book on his own techniques for downhill skiing; aviator and engineer of airplane parts; publishing a thesis on photography, using extensive retouching techniques to match the photographic reality to his mind’s fantasy. He wrote…

Everything is allowed, imagination is always saved

He had built an elaborate room to die in and hence be carried on into the afterlife, other sources suggest he was an occultist, drug user and sex addict but these have only ‘internet substantiation’ so far. But the icing on the tiered cake for me is, when the executors of his will started clearing his house they uncovered hundreds of erotic polaroids and photographs shot over twenty years.

The polaroids must have given him a freedom to pursue this private pastime as the imagery gets bolder. He hired local Turin prostitutes to pose in meticulously posed scenarios, using new models for each shot. Their beauty and pathos I think emerge from the fact that although this were clandestine and risque, he was not capturing them as pornography to masturbate over, nor as trophy photos of conquests; they were shot intended as erotic art if just for his personal audience of one. The non-professional models bring a voluptuousness and honesty that only heightens his aspirations.

Carlo Mollino, quite a card.

Further reading:

All polaroids shot by Carlo Mollino

One Response

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  1. maplesyrup21 said, on October 24, 2009 at 2:37 am

    interesting pics

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