Victor Badami II



— P H O T O G R P A H Y —

still lifes

Paris, France — Winter 2019

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is the world’s largest concentration of antique dealers and as such a legendary if not hallowed haven for discarded objects of the past. Long the not-so-secret picking ground of collectors, aficionados, and designers, it has gained over the years a new appreciation amongst the more casual browsers — both young and old. As an admirer and hopeful/aspiring collector myself, I was led by curiosity down the at times, winding, overcrowded, and shadowy labyrinth of passages that make up the Saint-Ouen.

As I continued to wander, allowing myself to get lost, I had begun to notice the nuances that each "marché" or market within the larger Puces had particulars to offer, something unique to say. Quite by accident or by fate, I would spend most of my time in Marché Serpette et Paul Bert, which was quite literally in the center of it all. As I navigated the loosely gridded network of alleys I was confronted by the eccentricity, eclecticism, and individuality of each stall. These stalls or rooms operated more in the manner of theatrical stage sets, with each curator having selected the objects and arranging them in such a way that was intimate to them.

Therefore, I would approach candidly and ask if they, they as the actor — character — of the set would pose amongst their objects, owning the space they indeed owned. Often hesitant at first, most found amusement in my pursuit of pairing them with their things. I told them that they, the characters in the drama I was writing, were needed to complete the scene they set. These portraits, set in haphazard yet self-manufactured scenes, offer a silent melodramatic narrative of who these personalities are, inside and out.

For authenticity, I did not move or rearrange any object within the space. However, I would offer suggestions on posture and encourage them to silently acknowledge my presence only with their eyes but to otherwise ignore the camera.

victorian society of america

Newport, RI — summer 2018