"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Gainsbourg Inside" by Yannick Ribeaut

A remarkable photo book focusing on Serge Gainsbourg home in Saint Germain des Prés Paris  The book works on two levels.  One its a document of his home at the time of his death - and his various collections of antique dolls (kind of creepy) to military metals and bullet castings.  Gainsbourg is a hero of mine, so of course anything on this great artist is of great worth.  What impresses me about the interior of the location is how small it seems, and how every object in the house has some importance to its owner.  A good interior should convey the owners personality but also its poetic quality is very important as well.
The second level is Gainsbourg's relationship with his man-servant Fulbert Ribeaut.   Gainsbourg left lots of notes to him asking him to buy specific or the latest publications (including the complete works of Mallarme) and of course smokes!
The photographer Yannick Ribeaut was the nephew of the butler, and with Charlotte Gainsbourg's request, he photographed the house.  This book is both a tribute to Gainsbourg's aesthetic as well as the relationship between Serge and his faithful butler Fulbert.  Almost Proust like intensity!

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