Lot 5: CHARLES FELIX GIR (1883-1941). LE GORILLE ET LA FEMME / CASINO DE PARIS. 1925. 61x46 inches, 156x116 cm. H. Chachoin, Paris.
December 18, 2012
New York, NY, USALive Auction
CHARLES FELIX GIR (1883-1941) LE GORILLE ET LA FEMME / CASINO DE PARIS. 1925.
61 3/4x46 inches, 156 3/4x116 3/4 cm. H. Chachoin, Paris.
Condition B: repaired tears in upper left image; repaired tears, abrasions and restoration along vertical and horizontal folds and in margins and image; creasing in image.
The idea of a large primate abducting a young woman had been implanted into the Parisian consciousness in 1887, when sculptor Emmanuel Fremiet won the medal of honor at the Paris Salon for his statue depicting a gorilla carrying off a woman. That the idea became titillating enough to make it to the stage of one of Paris' most prominent music halls speaks to the innate sense of the exotic excitement, forbidden pleasures and inherent taboo represented by the fantasy. In addition, 1925 was also the year in which a young Josephine Baker made her debut in Paris. Her signature performance, the danse sauvage, was a reverse anthropomorphisation of this very act. Contrary to certain beliefs, this poster was not a result of the influence of King Kong on the Parisian Music Hall scene, as it actually predates the release of the movie by 8 years.