|Lasch, bowling with girls. Notice his pin.|
To amuse myself, I have been leafing through Jan Lundgren´s "The Kary H Lasch Collection" from 1995. Lasch didn´t just keep a collection of photographs, he collected everything that he found amusing. Jokes, french cards (= old fashioned pornography), letters from hopeful girls (and their mothers), anything. The book is a misch masch of photos, stories, bits and pieces. A bit like a scrap book.
|La Loren meets the press.|
A few days later, picture magazine Se publishes this, from inside Sophia Loren´s railway compartment:
Tony Wilson, of Factory Records fame, once said that if you have to choose between the truth and the legend - always choose the legend. Lasch probably would have agreed. He cultivated his own legend, that of being the guy who could talk himself into (or out of) any situation, any picture. Lasch may have liked people to believe that he came from nothing, that he got his very first picture on the cover of a magazine, but the truth is, he was a rich little Central-European boy, he got his first camera from his dad, who used to take him to art museums to show him the secrets of good portraiture. His first "girl picture" was of his mum, and he had a Swiss boarding school education. In 1955 he was well known in Cannes, and an ambitious girl like Sophia Loren would have already made her introductions. Lasch also spoke fluent Italian (and likely German, French, English and a few languages more), and had been to the Loren/Ponti house for dinner.
|Picasso watching Lasch´s bullfighting pictures.|
In his collection was a key. It belonged to the back door of the cathedral where Grace Kelly got married to Prince Rainier. Lasch stole it, so that he could sneak in during the night and get a good spot. Unfortunately, the gendarm found him out and posted guards by the door. He got pretty good pictures anyway, being an old aquaintance of the bride.
Among his photos, you´ll find images of very young girls like Britt Ekland, Bibi Andersson, Gina Lollobridgida, Eartha Kitt, and Isabella Scorupco. You´ll also find pictures like the one above, of bull fights. Picasso liked them, he thought they were art, but Lasch said categorically that photography was not art. To him, it was a craft. A photographer didn´t create, he just snapped what was already there. Or so Lasch thought, anyway. He liked to take photos of children, he often borrowed his friends´ kids. He also liked to horse around in front of the camera, being a bit of a clown.
|Fashion photography for H&M, when they were just Hennes.|
|Childplay, on the streets of Milan.|
|Having lunch with the soon-to-be princess of Monaco, getting kissed by a cheeky waiter.|
|Probably my favourite: window cleaners at Solvalla trotting track.|
I´d like to finish with a Kary Lasch-style limerick, from his vast collection:
There was a young girl from Australia
who painted her ass like a dahlia
the colours were bright
and the effect was alright
but the smell was an awful failure.