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Tuesday, 17 March 2015
venus in furs
There would be nothing new in a woman posing as a femme fatale, surrounded by feathers and lying languidly all covered head to toe only with jewels. But in these photos taken by Irina Ionesco, the femme fatale is a child. The opulence of decorations, the excess of luxury objects, the decadent beauty and the laziness of the models were the remarkable signs of Irina Ionesco photography, obsessed by Vanitas symbols like mirrors and skulls and inspired by Victorian era.
Even if Eva was completely unaware of what her body naked could evoke, her mother knew it well and was able to exploit the ambiguity of a baby-sex symbol for easy and predictable commercial gains.
So Eva appeared in softporn movies, heavily criticized at that time, like Spermula (1976) and Maladolescenza (1977) in which she appeared naked.
...we are born under the same star.
Born in Paris 3 september 1935 to a violinist father and trapeze artist mother, Ionesco was abandoned at age four and shipped off to Romania to be brought up by her grandmother and circus family uncles.
She dreamt of being a dancer but with a tiny frame and supple body wound up a snake-lady contortionist, touring cabarets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East with two giant boas for seven years, from 15 to 22.
"I was a slave to the boas, in the end I'd had enough," she says, recalling the fastidiousness of feeding the reptiles, keeping them warm and hauling them from hotel bath to hotel bath.
... Photography came late - and haphazardly, like much of her life.
The old pre-digital-era Nikon F camera she still uses - along with tungsten lighting - dates back to Christmas of '64, a gift from her partner of the time, avant-garde Belgian artist Corneille.
"There're make-up people, stylists, but all anyone asks is for me to be me. They want my universe, my theatrical pictures, my literary memories. Anywhere I shoot, the pictures become mine."