Monday, July 18th, 2016
The intriguing Frenchman who has come to be known as Monsieur X captures a romantic ideal of the amateur photographer. Monsieur X spent a decade creating his private collection of erotic pictures for personal pleasure and for the pure love of the captured images. His motivations were obviously voyeuristic. His interests erotic. His subjects were among prostitutes at 75 Rue Jean Baptiste Pigalle.
The story of Monsieur X really begins in 1975 when an old man presented his archive of private images to a Paris book seller. At the end of one’s life there are choices – he might destroy such a body of erotic work; he might sell that body of work and increase his personal means; he might seek discovery as a photographer among photographers; or, he could sell the entire archive of his work on the provision that a name will be withheld to save family embarrassment.
The last choice, if you’re curious, was the one for Monsieur X – the work became public and his identity remained private.
The book seller contacted a collector named Alexandre Dupouy, owner of a shop named Tears of Eros, and the works have been attributed to this Monsieur X ever since. Dupouy has kept the secret, as promised.