John Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873 – 1949) was an American photographer who worked in New Orleans during the early 20th century. Bellocq is remembered for his haunting photographs of the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ legalized red light district. These have inspired novels, poems and films. Bellocq was born in a wealthy white French Creole family in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He became known locally as an amateur photographer before setting himself up as a professional, making his living by taking photographic records of landmarks and of ships and machinery for local companies. However, his personal projects included the opium dens in Chinatown and the prostitutes of Storyville. Many of the Storyville negatives were deliberately damaged, with many of the faces scraped out. Whether this was done by Bellocq, his Jesuit priest brother who inherited them after E. J.’s death or someone else is unknown. Bellocq is the most likely candidate, since the damage was done while the emulsion was still wet. These were only known to a small number of his acquaintances. Latter part of his life, he lived alone and acquired a reputation for eccentricity and unfriendliness. According to acquaintances from that period, he showed little interest in anything other than photography.

Getatchew Mekuria, The Ex & Friends by Nick Helderman on Flickr.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick (1964)
“My general thesis was that Lust should be shifted from the category of Sin to that of Virtue.”

Nancy Holt, drawing for positioning holes in the Columbia constellation for Sun Tunnels, 1975