The architect and designer Carlo Mollino had a secret life—one that only came to light after his death in 1973.
Born in Turin in 1905, Mollino first established himself as an architect designing a house in Forte dei Marmi–a seaside resort and commune enjoyed by Thomas Mann and Aldous Huxley. By the 1930s, he was acclaimed for his Fascist House in Voghera and the Art Deco concrete and glass Farmers Association Building in Cuneos. His most famous work was the Equestrian Centre in Torinese, which was demolished in 1960.
Mollino was also a designer of furniture—one of his tables sold for $3.8 million in 2005—and described himself as an adventurer, a racing driver, an athlete, a skier (he designed two ski lodges in Aosta Valley and Piedmont), a poet, a writer, a student of the occult, occasional drug addict, professor, artist, photographer and bachelor. Surprisingly for such an enterprising life, Mollino lived nearly all of his days at his father’s house, who considered his son a “fantasist,” a “dangerous erotomaniac” and “feckless.”
In the early 1960s, Mollino bought his first Polaroid camera and developed a secret passion for creating erotic photographs. On certain evenings he would be driven down to Turin’s red light district where his driver negotiated to hire “ladies of the night” for a brief photographic session at his small city apartment—a villa he actually never lived in which was designed to be a “house for the warrior’s rest,” now the Casa Mollino by the Po River. Mollino dressed the women in clothes he had bought, then posed them against specially constructed backdrops filled with his furniture designs. The portraits range from Pirelli calendar titillation through lingerie catalog to the more painterly and artfully contrived. These images were supposed to be his idea of what a “warrior” would appreciate—however, the photographs remained secret until after his death.
More of Mollino’s erotic Polaroids, after the jump…
Posted by Paul Gallagher |
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