At most of you well know, we love finding and sharing beautiful things with as many people as possible. Beauty, as one greek someone once famously said, is in the eye of the beholder… in other words, not everything one finds beautiful will be found as equally beautiful by their neighbor.
I(Flaxen) had the privilege of working with a soft spoken, fair skinned, strawberry blond, parisian photographer in his early-ish twenties named Yves Marchand a few years back in an old, run down theatre on 46th street in Brooklyn, NY. He was on an American tour of ruined buildings, photographing high fashion models in no longer running and decrepit theatres, factories, and whatever else he could find a permit to enter.
I was referred the gig by a great friend and makeup artist in New York, Gina Daddona, and was thrilled to take it. I found the whole dichotomy to be really intriguing and simply brilliant, and was in need of some serious creative inspiration at the time. The ‘Loew’s 46th street Theatre’ was incredible. It was massive, originally a theatre that was later turned into a movie theatre, that was now serving as a storage room for a Hasidic furniture store. The floors were covered in old movie tickets, as if on the final day of projection the theatre decided to implode with all of the tickets they had left to print.
I remember it being cold, it was January I believe when we shot. And there really wasn’t much electricity in the place, making hair and makeup a bit of a challenge. But we had a blast, regardless, and I have since then continued to check in once in a while to see some more of Yves’ work when I think of it.
He recently reconnected with me on facebook, and I noticed this article that someone had posted on his page: Detroit in ruins. Yves and his photographer friend Romain Meffre have been working side by side since 2005 shooting images like this all over the country, but found the most devastating ruins there in Detroit and have since published a book about it: The Ruins of Detroit. The photos are jaw dropping, and rather sad, yet in some peculiar way overwhelmingly intriguing and of course, beautiful.
The duo describes photographing ruins as this:
“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies
and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.
The state of ruin is essentially a temporary situation that happens at
some point, the volatile result of change of era and the fall of empires.
This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time :
being dismayed, or admire, making us wondering about the permanence of things.
Photography appeared to us as a modest way
to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.”
Visit Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre’s site to view more of their Theatre ruins as well as Detroit in Ruins:
And to view more of Yves fashion photography, visit:
photography by Yves Marchand
Wardrobe design and Styling by Carasan
Hair and Makeup by Jennifer Marcuson
Model: Ashley Shaw at RED NYC