He lived there from 1969 until his death in 1991… From the start of his love affair with Jane Birkin, to the birth of Charlotte, to his encounter with Bambou, and the birth of his son Lulu.
Inherited by his daughter Charlotte, the house has not changed since the death of Serge Gainsbourg; nothing has been touched. Like in some fairy tale, we can still see the singer’s ashtray full of Gitane cigarettes, a full fridge, half-finished bottles of wine… The photographer Tony Frank had the privilege of spending time in this place in the company of his friend Gainsbourg, whom he photographed on numerous occasions in his favorite setting from the moment they met in the late 60s.
More than twenty-five years after the death of the artist, in the spring of 2017, Tony Frank paid an emotional visit to this memory-filled residence to bear witness to Serge’s shadow. We are surprised to discover that Gainsbourg admired Marilyn Monroe and to come across an immense portrait of Bardot, who had broken the artist’s heart before he met Jane… We recognize the original manuscript of La Marseillaise which Gainsbourg bought at an auction in 1981, and Claude Lalanne’s The Man with the Cabbage Head … and for a moment we could have the feeling of knowing these famous rooms, which had spawned so many legends and fantasies, not as visitors but as friends of the remarkable character that Serge Gainsbourg still is in our hearts.
The Galerie de l’Instant in Paris is showcasing a selection of these images, including those of the artist photographed by Tony Frank, to create a series of diptychs that blend the past and the present, the musician and his absence.
Serge Gainsbourg, 5 bis rue de Verneuil – photographs by Tony Frank
March 29 to June 10, 2018
46 Rue de Poitou