Robert Doisneau - Coco
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print. 24 x 18.1 cm. Photographer's stamp, notes on the phototechnical process in ballpoint pen, stamp 'Collection Robert Giraud' and annotated in unknown hands in pencil and ballpoint pen on the verso. - Print with traces of usage and here and there stained, due to residues of fixer, in the lower image..
Doisneau's "Coco" from 1952, called here, is rightly known as one of the photographer's best known portraits, seeing that it is the most striking. The steadfast gaze of the drunkard at the counter captivates the viewer as much as his grotesque physiognomy or the back of his threadbare coat, a detail that has been carefully observed by the photographer. The photograph was taken during one of Doisneau's forays through Paris at night, which he undertook from 1947 onwards together with his friend and companion, the journalist Robert Giraud. It was Giraud who drew the photographer's attention to the world of the clochards and drinkers, the eccentrics and the excluded, and thus had a lasting influence on the photographer's eye. Until then he had concentrated more on portraits of the artist and intellectual scene of the Rive Gauche. "Without him, I would not have met them, the thieves, the tattooed, the love servants and a colourful population of different figures," with these words Doisneau later honoured the importance of Giraud for the development of his work (quoted after Jean-Claude Gautrand, loc. cit., p. 145). This print is one of the so-called "tirages du lendemain", which Doisneau used to give to his nocturnal companion on the day after the photograph was taken as the photographic spoil of the previous night.
We would like to thank Rodica Sibleyras, Galerie 1900 - 2000, Paris, for kind information.
From the photographer to Robert Giraud; Galerie 1900 - 2000, Paris; private property, Paris
Robert Doisneau, Drei Sekunden Ewigkeit. 101 Photographien. Mit einem Essay des Photographen, Munich et al. 1997, plate 42; L’œil et la plume, une amitié: Robert Doisneau et Robert Giraud, exhib.cat. Galerie 1900 – 2000, Paris 2004; Robert Doisneau. Mein Paris, Munich 2005, ill. p. 145; Jean-Claude Gautrand, Robert Doisneau 1912 – 1994, Cologne 2014, pp. 143 – 147, ill., p. 257 (variant)