As LNM Harris reports (for Au Courant in the Caribbean blog) “the big bum on the cover shot is a bit disturbing/distracting/in-your-face, but all in all, this retrospective on the works of sought-after Trinidadian photog, Calvin French, is definitely worth a look-see.” Harris is referring to French’s book Calvin French on The Avenue: Everyplace Has an Avenue (2008), a testament to Trinidad, its people, and places (“like you’ve never seen them before”).
Quote from Au Courant: Calvin French on The Avenue: Everyplace Has an Avenue, is a sort of ode to the hanging-out strip of bars & lounges that is Ariapita Avenue. With this release of his first book, French celebrates the conviviality of the social scene on the stretch, and even held his launch at a popular avenue wine bar, Mor Vino. Filled with French’s trademark saturated, glossy photography, the coffee-table tome features snapshots of his campaign work and fashion editorials, along with tributes from close friends, and some thoughts from the man himself.
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Calvin French migrated to Canada at the age of 14. He worked as a model in Montreal for a number of years before moving to Milan, Italy, to continue his modeling career. He subsequently moved to New York to work as a photographer for magazines such as GQ, Details, L’Uomo Vogue, and Gentlemen’s Options before returning to Trinidad. About his book, French says, “Hanging out there [on the Avenue] reminds me of being away from home, in another place. It is something about there that reminds me of Monte Carlo. Every place has an Avenue!” The coffee table book features photographs collected by French over the last ten years, including photos of Carnival on the Avenue and local models and celebrities wearing locally-made clothing at some of the area’s popular nightspots.
[In Trinidad, the book is available at Nigel Khan bookstores.]
For LMN Harris commentary, see http://aucourantinthecaribbean.blogspot.com/
For a biographical article on Calvin French (and photo of his modeling days), see http://www.caribbeanbelle.com/interviews/calvin-french.php
For article on the 2008 book launch, see http://guardian.co.tt/features/entertainment/2008/12/20/calvin-french-launches-book-avenue
Photo of book cover from http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_woman_mag?id=161412531