It all began in Toulon one day in 1930, according to how Émile Savitry remembers it.
He met Django Reinhardt in a seaside café as he, Savitry, was coming back from a long trip in Polynesia, which coincided with the beginning of his career as a photographer. Savitry had been a painter and close to Surrealists like Robert Desnos and Georges Malkine. Louis Aragon wrote the introduction to Savitry’s Paris exhibition at the Galerie Zborowski in 1929.
A jazz lover, Savitry played music in his spare time. He brought back records of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong from his trip to the Pacific Islands. This music, which he played for Reinhardt one night in 1930 in his room at the Café des Lions, would seal their friendship forever.
The exhibition revives memories of Paris of the 1930s to the 1950s, and showcases the rich, melancholic and surreal work of this painter-turned-photographer, friend of Brassaï, Jacques Prévert and Robert Doisneau. Viewers will lose themselves in Pigalle at night, Montparnasse cafés and smoky jazz clubs in Saint-Germain-des-Près.
Sophie Malexis, Exhibition curator
Read the full article on the French version of L’Oeil.
Emile Savitry, un photographe de Montparnasse
July 5 – September 28, 2014
Maison de la Photographie – Toulon
Rue Nicolas Laugier
Place du Globe