‘Cafe Lehmitz’ by Anders Petersen. #photography that inspires my work. Recalling exhibit @ModernaMuseet 2009

Alcohol’s children?  Manitou’s vengeance?  Who knows.

In July 2009, I visited the MODERNA MUSEET in Stockholm.  My favorite section of the gallery exhibits was Reality Revisited- Photography from the Moderna Museet Collection.  The raw, honest work of Swedish photographer Anders Petersen stood out.  It reminds of the subjects of Diane Arbus, but unlike the posed work of Arbus, Petersen captures the moment.  I purchased Petersen’s book Café Lehmitz to use as a source for my figure studies.

From NOODERLICHT.COMCafé Lehmitz was located near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, Germany.  Open for most of 24 hours, it was frequented by sailors and stokers from all corners of the world.  By merchants, dockers and cabdrivers.  By prostitutes, striptease dancers and pimps.  By poets, small time criminals and other night-revellers.  One thing they had in common: they were given the cold shoulder by ‘respectable society’.  Swedish photographer Anders Petersen came across the place at the end of the Sixties and for nearly three years would spend most of his days and nights near the tables, benches and dance floor where life was lived to the full.His debut book Café Lehmitz – as dark, wild and rugged as the place itself – was published in 1978.  It instantly made his name as a passionated chronicler of unruly daily life.  The cover-image of the book would in 1985 be used by Tom Waits for his LP Rain Dogs.

Quick sketch I just did (6B pencil on index card):

Drawn from "Café Lehmitz" plate 30


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