“I suffer from a very serious sickness named eroticism.”—Pierre Molinier

Pierre Molinier was born in Agen, France, but lived his life in Bordeaux. He began taking photographs at the age of 18. By 1955, Molinier made contact with leading surrealist Andre Breton, who included his work in a number of exhibitions. Molinier produced self portraiture that chronicled his sexual fetishes and fantasies. Martha Kirszenbaum writes: “Costume was core to his experimental works. Whether dressing up for a self-portrait or using one of his male and female models—some of whom were his lovers—all subjects were disguised with outfits and wigs, posing against backdrops of dark fabric in swathes. This theatricality was also a key part of his practice, as he typically shot his erotic scenes in the bourgeois interior of his studio in Bordeaux, using baroque screens, velvet curtains and floral wallpapers as backgrounds. This provocative contrast between the erotic and the acceptable caused an electric tension in his images.” The artist committed suicide in 1976.