London, South Kensington
21 May 2010
GUY BOURDIN (1928-1991)
Toto (Antonio, Prince of Curtis), 1955
gelatin silver print
signed and titled 'Toto Italian Actor' and annotated in pencil (verso)
10¼ x 13¼ in. (26 x 33 cm.)
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Vogue, French edition, March 1956, pp. 154-155;
Hall (editor), Photography Year Book 1957, Photography Magazine Ltd, p. 138.
The Vogue caption introduces Toto as Italy's greatest comic actor, 'A refined and distinguished figure, who had honed his craft in the tough world of music-hall. With his deadpan Buster Keaton mask, he was the unforgettable star of Naples Millionaire and The Gold of Naples.'
The strategy of sitting his subject at a table bearing scattered objects (here spaghetti as a metaphor for Italy) reprised an idea that Bourdin utilised in a Vogue fashion shoot in April 1955 in which the foreground table was similarly strewn, on this occasion with pins or hairgrips.
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