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Pierre Houlès


In the mid-1960s, Pierre left for New York. He was the first person to discover what would become, over the next twenty years, the Eldorado for young French photographers: the Condé Nast and Hearst groups. Jean-Paul Goude, Guy Bourdin, Mike Reinhardt, Claude Guillaumin, Patrick Demarchelier, Gilles Bensimon, André Carrara and Guy le Baube would later follow. For a time they were the kings of the city. Here is an album of their memories.

In the early ‘70s, a group of us were all in New York, young photographers, some of whom were working for big names like Avedon, Pen, Hiro, James Moore and Silano. There was Guy Bourdin, Claude Guillaumin, Isi Véléris, Jean Creuse, Alex Chatelain, Patrick Demarchelier, Mike Reinhardt and others. And then there was a ray of sunlight with a Southern accent: Pierre Houlès.
He disappeared along with our youth.
Pierre was handsome, charming, intelligent, joyful.
We’ve never stopped missing him, the same way we would later miss Guy Bourdin.
Isi Veleris 

Pierre wasn’t just a great friend. He was also a great photographer who wasn’t allowed the time to fully express himself before his death at 40. He was the guide for all the French living in New York. He was always available, joyful, loving life, women, photography, sports and friends.
Patrick Demarchelier

Pierre Houlès might seem like just a dilettante and romantic character.
In reality, he was a talented and inventive artist, an exacting aesthete with high working standards.
He was the picture of grace, and put friendship before everything else.
He was a meteor blazing in the night sky.
Viviane Montagut

He shared nothing; he gave everything.
André Carrara

Life in New York at 19 was a struggle. But a few words and a smile from Pierre made it all better. The Tri-X was wonderful. Girls were everywhere and rent could wait.
I hate jogging.
Jacques Davis

Pierre was the perfect French-American Boy. He had movie-star looks with a French touch!
With his camera, he was able to capture the elusive, ineffable moment where everything is perfect, like a poem by Verlaine, a shot by Welles, a melody by Verdi… He was an artist. A friend.
Caroline Van de Velde 

He died one morning one August morning long ago, but he never left me. Carnegie Hall, his generosity, he shared everything, severe and fair. And then last year, for a much-deserved exhibition and tribute to Jean-Paul Goude, Pierre’s name was removed from his own photographs. And I have no idea why, but Patrick Demarchelier came to Goude’s defense.
Gilles Bensimon

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