Today is the iconic Vali Myer’s birthday, she would have been 83. Artist and muse, friend to Genet and Cocteau and praised by Warhol and Dali she arrived in Paris when she was 19 from her native Australia in 1949. Later on in her life she became heavily tattooed and of more recent has been known as the woman who tattooed a lightening bolt on Patti Smith’s knee in the Hotel Chelsea.
These striking images are from Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken’s 1956 master piece ‘Love on the Left Bank’ of which Myer’s appears as the fictional character ‘Ann’. The book chronicles van der Elsken’s life through his experiences during the youth culture boom in Paris at the time, the photos are harsh and sexy and romanticise the period of time in a completely dreamy way. Accompanied with fictionalised pieces of text to give the photographs a story line the book was pioneering in its insight into the booming nocturnal, beatnik youth culture happening. Recently reprinted after being highly sought after for years you can buy it on LN-CC here.