Gilles Caron

I love the composition of this photo of Twiggy and the Eiffel Tower by Gilles Caron. He was quite a character, Caron was, with his celebrity and fashion photography gigs alternating with war correspondent gigs covering wars and revolutions on every continent except Australia and points south. He seemed drawn to upheaval and violence like a moth to flame, and his subject matter finally caught up with him outside Phnom Penh in 1970, where the Khmer Rouge waylaid and murdered him on a lonely stretch of Cambodian road. It was he and his motorcycle in the midst of all that mayhem, you can almost feel the testosterone and fearlessness. Alas, the fate of one man is nothing in a revolution, and that particular revolution would kill millions. Perhaps he didn’t realize that the anonymity of a photographer doesn’t really exist outside of a photograph, and that even a photographer capable of something as extraordinary as this shot of Twiggy silhouetted against the Eiffel Tower could be summarily executed for no apparent reason as easily as one of his photo subjects could be. Just another tragedy. That was in 1970, a good year for tragedies. He was thirty. His career fits neatly into the 1960’s, except he never learned how it all came out. A helluva photographer, though, every photo a portrait. It’s an art, I suppose.


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