Last faces of A Picolo
It's been almost three years since I met Francis, an incredibly charismatic owner of A Picolo, a small café in Saint-Ouen, just outside of Paris.
Nothing was special about this place: a simple, shabby, chaotic interior, little stage at the back of a dimly lit hall, crowded terrace along one of the busiest streets of Les Puces, the Flea Market of Saint-Ouen. Nothing special but its exceptional chef, who could make you the best magret de canard in or around Paris! Nothing but its maître, always cheerful, singing operas, chatting gently and humorously with his guests. Nothing but its ability to become a theater, or a cinema theater, or a punk concert stage, or a drawing school — just for one night. And nothing but its guests: professional travellers and occasional tourists, possessed collectors and sage historians, grass roots workers and renowned artists, homeless people and gipsy fortune-tellers — the most mixed crowd, a real treasure for a portrait photographer!
A few weeks ago the café changed its owner, it's another place now, and A Picolo I was lucky to know doesn't exist anymore. This series is about the people who were making that place so lively.
I shot my first series of portraits of A Picolo people more than two years ago. You can see that “part one” — with Francis, A Picolo's legendary owner, opening it — here.
Assistant: Tatiana Blinova
A very special thanks to Francis, his staff, his family, an infinite amount of his friends and guests (I was never able to distinguish ones from the others)