Samuel Masters for Art-Sheep
In mid-20th century, during an era when women were still mostly restricted, the practice of Burlesque dancing was, in a sense, a decisive step towards emancipation. Burlesque dancers earned their own living by doing what they loved, proudly expressing, instead of repressing their sexuality, traveling around the world, depending on themselves and their abilities. These women and their art are the focus of French photographer Marie Baronnet‘s photo book, titled Legend: The Living Art of Risqué, in which they pose, now in their mid-60s to mid-90s, wearing their old costumes, to reminisce about their golden years.
What the photographer has observed, after getting to know these women, is the difference of burlesque from modern types of stripping, not only in terms of its subtlety and sensuality, that was more dependent on imagination than on naked flesh and graphicness, but also due to the fact that the artists, themselves, personally attended to the majority of the acts’ elements, from the choreography to the costumes. This series aims to commemorate exactly this: the dedication, passion and creativity of these true proto-feminist artists.