New Orleans Noir

Streetcar of desire 1992 - 2

The copy for “Streetcar Of Desire”, a 1992 Harper’s Bazaar fashion editorial, almost reads like the cover tease for a steamy noir or erotic thriller (minus all the ‘lets-sell-pricey-lingerie’ stuff). “Languorous, sexual, darkly colored, (it) could be inspired by love and lust. These are looks to feed the flame of longing and light up the shadows of a summer night (with) reflections of Blanche DuBois – silk and lace against lily-white skin”. Hmmm, listen to my keyboard sizzle. Shot by Phillip Dixon, model Tatjana Patitz is more a French Quarter femme fatale than Blanche Dubois’ fey and faded beauty, but the images are enough to inspire any noir’s doomed love affair.

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Ice Picks & Fishnets

madonna 2010

You see blonde hair, then the ice pick, and might assume that it’s Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell, the murderous mystery novelist in Paul Verhoeven’s 1992 Basic Instinct. Not quite that character’s look, though. And no, it’s actually Madonna, shot by Mert + Marcus in 2010, ramming her pick into a wood floor instead of Michael Douglas.

Black Friday

Lila Cardona 1

I think the photo suite was titled “Black Friday”. Peter Gehrke shoots model Lila Cardona in a noir-ish homage, strictly black and white, for And Other Stories’ Black Friday campaign in 2018. It’s no stretch to concoct your own story for this series, with Cardona heading up the dark stairway, perhaps to her in-town love nest getaway. A call is made on arrival. To her lover for a rendezvous later? Well…could be. Or, just as likely, for a rendezvous with something much more sinister. She peers through the blinds, apprehensive, then glances at her reflection in the mirror, seeing the face of a lover, the face of a liar, the face of a killer…

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Bramanto’s Femme Fatale

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Assisted by Reza Bustami and Phillip Kwok, photographer Julius Bramanto’s photo suite, called simply “Femme Fatale”, looks  right out of a 1990’s erotic thriller, and is a reminder that pickups and hookups don’t always end well, since love (or lust) can be a deadly affair.

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Still Room In The Trunk?

eugenio recuenco

A gangster and his gun moll? Could be that she’s the leader of the gang, her boy carting luggage and loading the trunk (hopefully not shoving a body or kidnap victim aside to make room for her bags). So lets not make assumptions. A nifty B&W from photographer Eugenio Recuenco. And a pretty nifty Citroen too.

 

Secret Agent Chic

Sasha Luss 1

Guy Aroch’s behind the camera, Vadim Galaganov handles styling duties and Sasha Luss is the very lethal looking secret agent in this July 2019 photo editorial for Elle Russia magazine. A clandestine meeting and planned briefcase exchange apparently goes bad, but I suspect that Sasha-the-spy (and her scary looking automatic) resolved things in the end.

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If Love Was A Red Dress

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Still digging for more bio information on contemporary realist painter Anwen Keeling. Her stark, shadowy and neo-noirish paintings have me hooked, and a post with more will follow soon. But for now, here’s “If Love Was A Red Dress”, which is as perfect a title as I can imagine.

Frazetta’s Femmes Fatales

Frazetta 2

Just how many late 20th century budding artists first started scribbling their own muscle bound barbarians and sword wielding valkyries after ogling Frank Frazetta’s (1928 – 2010) Conan paperback and early Warren magazine cover paintings, who’ll ever know. For many, the man’s work was the look of dark fantasy for decades. But he was more than Cimmerians and death goddesses, and had a flare for 50’s-60’s style bad girlz when given the chance. There’s not a broadsword or wizard in sight among these.

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One Bullet Left.

Aly Fell 2010

UK artist Aly Fell may be better known for witches, warriors and fantasy art, but definitely needs to try some more retro crime flavored scenes. Don’t know if woman’s a ‘stiletto gumshoe’ herself, a gumshoe’s client or a D.A.’s Gal Friday, but it seems she’s concluded that the jig is up and it’s time to make a quick exit. Like, a permanent one. From 2010.

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