Canned Candies

Jean Clemmer and Paco Rabanne’s Seductive Celebration of Female Nudes

Sensual, provocative and unapologetic, Swiss photographer Jean Clemmer and fashion designer Paco Rabanne’s 1969 photo book, Nues, is saved from the jaws of obscurity this month. These original vintage prints from Nues––their first public viewing for 40 years––are displayed alongside a collection of Clemmer’s other nudist photographs from the period at London's Flash Project gallery. Clemmer and Rabanne first met in the inner circles of Paris’s Surrealist milieu during the 1960s (the Swiss was Salvador Dalí’s personal photographer and a friend of Jean Cocteau's). When French publisher Pierre Belfond––who published Duchamp and Borges among others––asked Clemmer to create a book on the female, the photographer chose Rabanne’s fierce, be-jeweled and armor-like adornments to attire his models. Launched at the legendary Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris accompanied by dancers, Nues typified the freedom of the 60s sexual revolution––as Clemmer’s niece and estate manager Hélène Clemmer-Heidsieck explains, “These photographs stand the test of time, while bearing the mark of an era.” 

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