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Serge Gainsbourg by the great photographers


20 years have passed since Serge Gainsbourg has taken his final bow. An immigrant’s son who loved to tangle up the French language, using slang and juggling words, he also loved to play with his personal image. Belgian gallerist Roger Szmulewicz, a true Gainsbourg fan, exhibits over forty pictures from different moments in the life of a man that made his mark in French music culture and history. But not only that. The looks, the theatricality of gestures, has constructed a model for an entire generation of rock musicians, notably in the English new wave.

In front of the cameras of many major master photographers, he loved to cloud the issue: as a transvestite for William Klein, or as Salvador Dali’s cone for Roberto Battistini. Stripped to the waist and wrapped in the French flag: his reggae Marseillaise (featured in “Aux armes et caetera..”) caused a scandal (Jean Jacques Bernier). And we find the joyful Gainsbourg with Jane Birkin at home or partying. A dandy Gainsbourg with a lost gaze, announcing the birth of his much more somber doppelganger: Gainsbarre (Xavier Martin).
Appromixately15 photographers (including Helmut Newton) pay tribute to this charismatic artist of seduction, yet could not love himself.

Paul Alessandrini

Exhibition from Monday February 28th through Wednesday March 9th
Galerie Charpentier
76 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008 Paris

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