Carré Otis, San Francisco, California

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  • Literature

    Calvin Klein, New York: Rizzoli, 2017, n.p., to be published November 2017

  • Catalogue Essay

    Bruce Weber’s striking photograph of Carré Otis riding a motorbike was taken for the 1991 Calvin Klein Jeans campaign. This unique oversized gelatin silver print was made exclusively for this auction.

    Here, Bruce shares his recollections on the making of this photograph.

    The Location
    ‘I really love San Francisco and the surrounding landscape. When I would visit, I loved hanging out in Jeanette Etheredge's bar Tosca and people I met there would say, “You should do a campaign here.” So when the Calvin sitting came up, I thought it would be a good place to do those kinds of pictures. ‘

    The Inspiration
    ‘My sister was a big part of the music world – she worked with David Bowie for years – and when I was just starting out, she would bring me backstage and on tours with her. I was lucky to meet and photograph lots of rock groups and I wanted with this campaign to put a little of that life into the pictures.'

    Working with Calvin Klein
    ‘I don’t think Calvin knew what to expect with this shoot – it got pretty crazy. At a certain point, he tried to start laying down rules, but I told him – “Why are we in San Francisco, a city where rules don’t really apply?”’

    Carré Otis and the Motorcycle
    ‘Carré [Otis] was still with Mickey Rourke at that time, who I really like. But she didn’t want to be in pictures with other guys and make him jealous. Of course this made things difficult. There was this young kid on the job, who was probably 15 at the time – I said, “What about him? He could be your baby brother.” But she said that would be even worse. So I decided to just do some things alone with her on the street for starters, and I knew she could ride a motorcycle. It was nothing more serious than that.’

    The Shot
    ‘Carré was actually a really good motorcycle rider – otherwise I never would have taken the chance of having her ride this big bike on the streets of San Francisco. We kept the route she was on somewhat short – she wanted to go for a longer ride, but I knew better. Models on motorcycles tend to do a disappearing act. I took the photo from a van driving in front of her, which had the seats taken out and the doors tied open. It was just me and my assistant trying to hold steady on the floor in back.’

50

ULTIMATE

Carré Otis, San Francisco, California

1991
Gelatin silver print, printed 2017, flush-mounted.
Image/Sheet: 178 x 128 cm (70 1/8 x 50 3/8 in.)
Frame: 182.5 x 132.5 cm (71 7/8 x 52 1/8 in.)

Signed in ink, printed title, date and number 1/1 on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

This work is number 1 from the edition of 1 and is unique in this size.

Estimate
£40,000 - 60,000 

sold for £68,750

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4098

Photographs

London Auction 2 November 2017