For Havas’ latest literature-inspired exhibition in Paris, Guzman draw inspiration from a surreal Japanese novel

Last year, for an exhibition titled “Marque-Page” (“Bookmarks”), Havas commissioned artists to create work suggesting links between major brands and literature. Photo duo Guzman, for example, produced images linking Amazon and the bestselling novel The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. This year,  for “Photo-Roman” (Picture Story”), Havas has once again asked Guzman to create literature-inspired imagery.

“We were asked to pick a paragraph in a novel that had mention of a photo or photos and then create the photo described in the novel,” explains Connie Hansen, who with her husband and collaborator, Russell Peacock, chose the postmodern novel Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami. The story centers on two boys, Kiku and Hashi, whose mother locks them in coin lockers in a Tokyo train station and abandons them.

“We picked two paragraphs: one that described a police mugshot of Kiku taken by the police on Christmas Day, the morning after he killed his mother, and one that described four separate random photos found by Kiku and Hashi in an abandoned theater somewhere in Japan.

“For the mugshot,” she continues, “we put together what he was wearing on that day and how he was feeling—what happened to him after he shot his mother and how he felt when they finally dragged him from his cell to take his mugshot—and we arrived at this shot.”



Photo by Guzman.

Guzman worked with casting director Donna Grossman, who found actor/musician Koki Tomlinson to play the part of Kiku. Grooming and bruises/blood were by Alison Smith, and styling was by Basia Zamorska. “Koki shed real tears,” notes Connie.

Below, a look at how the portrait appeared in the exhibition catalog, along with four additional images Connie and Russell contributed to the project from their archive.


Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 10.30.29 AM copy

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“Photo-Roman” is on view through as part of Les Rencontres Photographiques d’Arles at the Havas Gallery in Arles. Info here.


One Comment

  1. Posted 07/28/2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Donna Grossman Casting is so thrilled, honored and humbled to have been a part of this project. Our complements to Guzman: Connie and Russell and the rest of this wonderful team.

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