Monday, July 30, 2012

My dear Wilhelm...

"My dear Wilhelm,

Sorry for this so long pause in my posts, in my blog Rêves Siciliens... I spent the last two months in Taormina, I visited the Protestant cemetery and I put a few roses on your grave...

I have seen the end of the Sicilian spring, the beginning of the Sicilian summer, I have smelt the perfumes of so many flowers, I have seen the light and the colors, I felt the warmth and the cool evenings...

I spent hours dreaming at the scenic landscape where Mount Aetna caresses a blue sea..

And never I was tired looking at Taormina, at its walls and roofs, on the cliffs, against the mountain...

I feel I shared your gaze and your vision, I breathed the same air you did, a century ago, I had the same feeling to be in a land loved by the ancient gods of Greece and Rome, a land where beauty is everywhere, in the sky and in the sea, in the flowers and in the blossoming boys....

I spent to much time, dreaming about the landscape, dreaming about you, dreaming about your gorgeous models I love so much...

Dear Wilhelm, I am still on the terrace of my hotel, I am sipping tea... I hope you will join me... Please, tell Pasqualino, Il Moro, Luigi, Pietro, Domenico, the Faun and so many others of your models to join me...

They will be most welcome... It is impossible to stay in Taormina without inviting all the beautiful and young forever ghosts haunting this place...

Please join me...

Yours as always...


Friday, June 8, 2012

Vintage prints

Blogs, books, .jpg files and modern reprints are fine....

But nothing replaces a vintage photographic print of von Gloeden, of von Plüschow, of Vincenzo Galdi, the sensual inventor of gay pornographic photographic art

There is this unique sepia color, and also the stamp of the photographer on the back, and sometimes the handwritten number of the photograph...

There is also the fact that a vintage photographic print is a unique artifact, whose tones and contrast are different from any other print...

And each vintage photograph has its own secrete story to tell you: who was its first buyer, through which private collections was it transmitted ?

There is a place in Paris, where a unique Art Gallery traces out and collects the most beautiful, the most sensual vintage prints of von Gloeden's photographs...

The Art Gallery "Au bonheur du jour", and Nicole Canet, its main creative force, are devoted to saving these vintage photographs as well as many other curiosa, paintings, drawings and erotica, mirroring the many ways to love and to be loved, in our human condition....

There is currently a unique exhibition of almost 60 vintage photographic prints of the masters of Italian nude male photography... All these vintage prints are for sale...

You should definitely visit Nicole Canet's Gallery
11 rue Chabanais, 75002 Paris

and you could visit too here...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jardin secret

In my von Gloeden's photographs collection, I think this one is among the rarest, the most precious... I have never seen it in any modern Gloeden's books...

I love the purity of its structure... A wall, a tree, a jar, light and shade, and a teen boy...

I love the infinite grace of this young male body, its visible beauty as well as the way a part of it is hidden under a clothe... I love the curves, the inflections, the smoothness, the curly and tousled hairs... I love the profile of his face, the way his body is at the same time so relaxed and tensed, to keep the posture...

I love the set up of this photograph... It is in Taormina, in the late 90's of the XIXth century... It could be a scene from Greek antiquity, and this boy could be the listener of a Socrates' lesson of philosophy...

I love what is intemporal in this photograph... What it displays could speak and sing for viewers in Antiquity, in Renaissance, in XIXth century and today as well...

I love the way desire, longing, appeal, sensitiveness are staged within a border when one can look at, admire, dream about, but not touch...

I don't know the name of this ragazzo of Taormina, in the late XIXth century... But thanks to von Gloeden's photograph, he became immortal... and he is young for ever, even if he is now just dust in the soil of Taormina's cemetery...

If you repost this photograph of my collection, please link to my blog...


Friday, May 11, 2012

Taormina 1926

1926, Gloeden, Taormina. Five years before his death, Wilhelm von Gloeden signed this photograph. The buyer probably asked for this signature. He (or she ?) considered this photograph as a work of art, as a unique picture, as precious as a painting by a famous artist. And von Gloeden was willing to sign the prints of his photographs, in order to provide them with their uniqueness, with the special quality of a unique artifact.

Photography is a mechanical and an industrial art, allowing the reproduction of many copies of a single image, according to Walter Benjamin's famous statement. But a photograph is also a unique artifact, through the way it was printed, through its patina, through the chemical processes that fix light and shades in an unpredictable way.

This photograph is 86 years old. This blossoming boy is most likely ashes and dust in the Taormina's cemetery.

Through this photograph, however, this Taormina boy is young forever, he is a blossoming boy, as the flowers and leaves surrounding him.

I find in this photograph a Von Gloeden's trademark... a unique way to displaying the beauty of a young man and to concealing the focus of his mind, of his gaze, of his soul...

This photograph was conceived to inspire love and desire. In 2012, this photograph still inspires them. Love and desire.

But I don't know what I love and desire the most... The sensual display of an ephebe's body... Or the mystical focus of a gaze and a soul...

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Wilhelm von Gloeden - Portrait
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Why does this portrait move me so much ? I love everything in this young man face... The headband across the hairs, the roses as a symbol of flying youth, the almond eyes whose outline is emphasized by a pen... A delicate drawing adds the ultimate touch to a sensitive photograph...

As always, I felt in love with the face of a dreaming lad, displaying his beauty to the viewer, looking elsewhere, beyond the photograph, looking inside, looking to his soul...

Von Gloeden's photographic art displays as much as it hides. It leaves so much space for imagination, for desire and feelings...

Von Gloeden's photographs as always are at the same time the very peak of modernity, with a brand new technology, and the archaeological remain of a very old time, Ancient Greece, with its ephebs, with the poetry of their beauty, with the ethics of the love they inspired to older man...

During the late XIXth c., Greece, classical culture and literatures, ancient statues or frescoes, Greek and Latin poets, Mediterranean landscape and light were a needed alibi for all those who loved in a different way and who needed photographs to mirror their desire, their vision, their identity.

Wilhelm von Gloeden did not shoot photographs. He offered mirrors to so many men of his time. And beyond.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lord Biron, Soungouroff et autres...

La Galerie parisienne Au Bonheur du Jour propose du 4 avril au 26 mai 2012 une exposition-vente sur le thème "Nus masculins asiatique" avec des photographies de Biron.

The Parisian Art Gallery Au Bonheur du Jour has a new exhibition from april 4th to may 26th about "Male Asian nudes", with photographs by Biron.

Biron. Jefferson Chen

Vous trouverez également une sélection de tableaux et de dessins de Soungouroff, Gaston Goor, Michel Gourlier, A. Aumaître, Czanara, Andrien Icardo, Emile Aubry, André Ragot, Roland Caillaud.

You will find also a unique selection of paintings and drawings by artists such as Soungouroff, Gaston Goor, Michel Gourlier, A. Aumaître, Czanara, Andrien Icardo, Emile Aubry, André Ragot, Roland Caillaud.

Soungouroff (1911-1982). Jeune homme au panier de fruits (1955)

Soungouroff (1911-1982). Le pécheur (1951)

Soungouroff (1911-1982). Saint Sébastien (1947)

Friday, March 16, 2012


"Dear Wilhelm,

Why, do you ask me... Why someone living in the early XXIst century is so tuned to your photographic art ? Why, at the time of the WWW, of Facebook and Twitter, is someone so lonely that he needs to connect with Taormina, at the end of the XIXth century and with my Arcadian and imaginary world... ?

Indeed, in our XXIst century, we have access to plenty of gay websites... Nudity, male frontal nudity are no more taboos... You just type "nude man" and Google will show you thousands of pics... So boring, so meaningless... Pornography is just here and now, there is no after, no before... no beside, no behind...

I am not interested in pornography... Too close, too poor, too obvious, too physiologic... I am looking for something else than a trigger to a "petite mort"... I am looking for what is lasting, for what creates dream and images, desires and longings...

Your photographic art makes me dream, today, in this early XXIth century, about what love and desire mean...

I am so much in love... With him, or him... Or with this another one... or just this one...

Your photographs, my dear Wilhelm, allow us to be together... We are together on the slopes of the Aetna, on the cliffs of Taormina... We are together on the edge between XIXth and XXth century...

I dream about your Taormina young men... I felt in love with a few (well mainly one) of them... I feel I know him so well... I feel him, I listen to his voice, I can almost caress him, although he is just dust in the Taormina cemetery...

Love and desire, however, are not concerned with such borders, death and life... I love him, because I feel he would have perhaps loved me... and I feel I have so much to share with him that he would perhaps have shared so much with me...

What is love, what is desire... ? What is a vintage desire, a desire for young men who are no more ?

Your photographs, dear Wilhelm, are questions... I should try to find the answers within myself...

Yours, as always...


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Anthologia Palatina

Wilhelm von Gloeden. Italien Aufnahmen
Published as a postcard by Adolph Engel, Berlin, 1905
(my collection)

"Do not hide your love, Philocrates. The god himself
Is able to trample on my heart.
But give me joy by giving me kisses. A time will come
When you too will ask for these favors from others"

(Strato, Anthologia Palatina, XII, 16)

"If you boast of your beauty, know that the rose also blooms,
But suddenly withers and is thrown out with the refuse.
For flower and beauty are of equal duration.
Envious time causes them to wither together"

(Strato, Anthologia Palatina, XII, 234)

"Perhaps someone in the future, on hearing these my trifles,
Will think that all this suffering in love was my own.
But I inscribe letters for many other boy-lovers,
Since this gift some god granted to me"

(Strato, Anthologia Palatina, XII, 258)

Translations from: Thomas K. Hubbard
Homosexuality in Greece and Rome.
A Textbook of Basic Documents
University of California Press
Berkeley - Los Angeles, 2003

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Greek Tragedy

In the background, there are just rocks and stones, the most inhuman background for a fully human tragedy...

On the ground, there is just sand, nothing else, just sand, flying through human fingers as the time flies away... Sand is the only possible ground for a human tragedy...

As in all Greek tragedies, there is anger and madness, there is love and hate, there is tenderness and despair, there is the will to kill, the desire to caress, there is an older one, a younger one...

Fear in your eyes, fear and a prayer in your eyes, and a promiss, an oath, never more, for eternity, I will be yours, I will be your loved one, I never betrayed, never...

But he does not believe him, he want to kill him, he is ready, he want to kill him, such a betrayal, he loved him so much, they were so close, they were brothers in love, they shared so much, warmth and breathe....

No, not now, my brother, my lover, don't kill me now... I love you so much, we shared so much, warmth and breathe... Don't forget our love, what we shared, the warmth of my body, my youth, my love... No, no, my brother, my lover, don't kill me now, I will be yours for ever... I want a kiss from you, not a blow...

I can hear Wilhelm von Gloeden's instructions to his favorite models... I can hear his voice, while he is carefully creating the stage set-up of this photograph... These two Taormina lads forgot they were shepherds, young peasants, fishermen... They forgot their time, the last years of the XIXth century...

They became heroes from a remote past, Greek heroes, playing the intemporal game of love and hate, of life and death.

I have never seen this von Gloeden's photograph in any of the modern books devoted to his art... I have not seen it in the web databases...

So it seems this photograph is pretty rare... It was probably in some private collection, and it was saved from the destruction of von Gloeden's photographic plates, during the fascist rule in Italy.

This beautiful and expressive photograph is now in my collection.

I love it very much...

While I look at it, I can hear the voices, the music of a very old, of a very in temporal Greek tragedy...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Imago lucis opera expressa

"La photo est littéralement une émanation du référent. D'un corps réel, qui était là, sont parties des radiations qui viennent me toucher, moi qui suis ici; peu importe la durée de la transmission; la photo de l'être disparu vient me toucher comme les rayons différés d'une étoile. Une sorte de lien ombilical relie le corps de la chose photographiée à mon regard: la lumière, quoi qu'impalpable, est bien ici un milieu charnel, une peau que je partage avec celui ou celle qui a été photographié.

Il paraît qu'en latin "photographie" se dirait: "imago lucis opera expressa"; c'est-à-dire : image révélée, "sortie", "montée", "exprimée" (comme le jus d'un citron) par l'action de la lumière. Et si la Photographie appartenait à un monde qui ait encore quelque sensibilité au mythe, on ne manquerait pas d'exulter devant la richesse du symbole: le corps aimé est immortalisé par la médiation d'un métal précieux, l'argent (monument et luxe); à quoi on ajouterait l'idée que ce métal, comme tous les métaux de l'Alchimie, est vivant".

Roland Barthes, La Chambre claire. Note sur la Photographie, Paris, Cahiers du Cinéma, Gallimard, Seuil, 1980, p. 126-127.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


"Where art thou, friend ? — Day after day,
Youth like a river flows away;
And forth we fare to meet decay: —
                                          Where are thou ?

Where art thou, friend ? — Beneath the sun
Man hath one life, but only done;
And Life to Death doth hourly run: —
                                          Where are thou ?

Where art thou, friend ? — Must our own will
Combine with chance and change to chill
The hearts that once were won't to thrill? —
                                          Where are thou ?

Where art thou, friend ? — Stretch forth thine hand
Across the waste to where I stand;
Let love not fade like fires unfanned: —
                                          Where are thou ?

Where art thou, friend ? — Can love secure
In gloom and solitude endure ?
Oblivion's wound what skill can cure ? —
                                          Where are thou ?

Where art thou, friend ? — In vain I wail.
Let me not spread my spirit's sail
Alone, to drift before the gale! 
                                          Where are thou ?"

John Addington Symonds (1840-1893)

Lad's Love
An Anthology of Uranian Poetry and Prose
Edited with an introduction by Michael Matthew Kaylor
Kansas City, Valancourt Books, 2010, vol. 2, p. 365.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Une pensée qui passe...

(Collection privée)

Peut-on photographier une pensée qui passe, un état d'âme, un instant d'absence, une seconde d'éternité ?

Qu'est-ce qui se joue dans ce moment fugitif figé pour toujours ?

Il y a quelque chose de sublime dans cette image de von Gloeden, qui fait de ce portrait d'adolescent comme l'emblème de la photographie...

Le temps de la pose, de la pause, figé pour l'éternité.

Un regard qui se détourne du photographe, du spectateur pour plonger à l'intérieur de soi, au coeur d'une âme.

Ce garçon me semble être le même que celui qui incarnait les rêves orientaux de von Gloeden, Ahmed, Asrah, le garçon des sables et des oasis.

Rêves Siciliens: La mélancolie d'Ahmed - Asrah / The Melancholy of Ahmed - Asrah

Je retrouve dans ce portrait le même regard, la même mélancolie, la même gravité, trop profonde pour un visage si jeune.

Cette photographie invite à une méditation sans fin, à aller loin au coeur de sa mémoire et son imaginaire.

Cette photographie a la mélancolie d'un Nocturne de Chopin, la beauté de la sonate de Vinteuil...

J'aime le trait de plume de Gloeden qui a souligné le contour des yeux, là où tout se joue, à la jonction du regard et de l'âme.

Cette photographie est une invitation au rêve.

Pourquoi es-tu si sérieux, si mélancolique, si grave, jeune garçon de Taormina, au seuil du XXe siècle ?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fersen. Le baiser de Narcisse

Après la réédition remarquée de Lord Lyllian. Messes noires (1905) par Jacques d'Adelsward-Fersen, les éditions QuestionDeGenre/GKC inaugurent l'année  2012 en rééditant, du même auteur, Le Baiser de Narcisse dans sa version illustrée par Brisset (1912).

On se souvient que Fersen est le fondateur de la première revue homosexuelle française (Akademos, 1909).

Ce cahier de 80 pages est disponible dès maintenant à la librairie “Les Mots à la Bouche”, 6 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie à Paris (75004) au prix de 14 €

ou par commande franco de port = chèque de 14 euros libellé à GKC à adresser à Patrick Cardon c/o Faria, 37 rue Gabrielle94220 Charenton-le-Pont