Another subversive erotic photographer from the 1950s-60s was a Frenchman named Serge Jacques. He published the leading pin-up magazine in France for over a quarter of a Century. Cinema Paris-Hollywood in 1946 evolved as Paris-Hollywood through to 1952 and became Les beautes de Paris de Hollywood until 1953. From that year through to 1974 the magazine hit it’s real stride as Folies de Paris et de Hollywood. The magazine included erotic images by well regarded international photographers and models and printed 80,000 copies per fortnight at it’s height.
Yet there’s not a lot to be found on the Internet about Serge Jacques, beyond his pictures and magazines. He was once arrested in the street for possession of an erotic photograph displaying pubic hair that was inside his locked briefcase; the police regularly raided his studio and darkroom. The court appearances were numerous and as a result some issues of Folies de Paris et de Hollywood were deemed offensive to the public and removed from sale.
In the finest tradition of Taschen two books of his photographs were published – Serge Jacques (1998) and Paris-Hollywood (2001). That Taschen chose to publish two books of Serge Jacques’ photographs speaks to his importance as a photographer.
Serge Jacques was a fantasist who re-created realities in the studio using sets and posing girls evocatively. He understood the power of girls in panties, a garter-belt and bra. And the provocativeness of that girl without panties and with her legs open over the sides of a hallway chair, if that’s what it took to push boundaries. As Serge said “I invented the job of photographe de charme (erotic photographer).”
I can’t find any more information about Serge beyond 2011. However, he remained active as an erotic photographer into his 80s and should be remembered as one of those people who fought the good fight that led to the end of overly-oppressive decency laws throughout Western society. It’s easy to forget in the current era that there was a time when these photographs were dangerous to produce and to possess.