Metropole Cafe, New York, 1946
Numbered pigment print of Lisette Model, size18 x 24 cm, 350 copies.
Dancers, drag queens, trapeze artists – show business and its colorful characters are everywhere in the work of Lisette Model who, before becoming a photographer, envisioned a career as a singer. She is particularly alive to the world of jazz music, because “that was America.” 1 Clubs like the Metropole Café are immortalized in her work, as are several editions of the New York Jazz Festival.
Lisette Model, after years earning a living by publishing in illustrated magazines, became a teacher and encouraged her students (including Diane Arbus) to « photograph with your guts » . 2 Whether in the street, the music halls or elsewhere, Lisette Model took pictures in an instinctive way, without preamble, then edited them in the darkroom in order to isolate her subject and get a more immediate, more direct image. “The people I photograph are extremely vital, and life has left its strong mark on their bodies, which is always a sign of strength because very few people have a tremendous physiognomy which reflects their life experiences, feelings and emotions.” 3
That’s why her pictures – uncompromising yet full of humanity – place her in a unique and highly important position within the genre of street photography.
Print sold inside Wombat N°9 included.