Although originally a painter, he moved on to photography late in life to produce a unique style of montaged self-portraiture. His photography explored the themes of transvestitism and fetishism.
A loner in life, he eventually found his artistic outlet in creating haunting images mostly for private pleasure. Hidden away in his Bordeaux studio (or 'boudoir' as he preferred to call it) Pierre Molinier acted out the kind of sado-masochistic fantasies that Salvador Dali and his contemporaries dared only to explore in paint.
In these intimate black and white photographs, Molinier can be seen; either alone with doll-like mannequins or with female models, appears as a transvestite, transformed by his fetish clothing of fishnet stockings, suspender belt, stilettos, mask and corset. In his montages, an unlikely number of stockinged limbs intertwine to create the women of Molinier's world. As for his more direct images, the artist presents himself alone, in dominant pose, with his hands on his hips or lying in submission across a chair, buttocks exposed to the camera.
He was briefly attached to the Surrealist movement, although not one himself, when he met Andre Breton, who had been enthusiastic enough with these images to assist him with a solo exhibition in 1955 and as part of the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1959.
His suicide in 1976 has only contributed to the darkness and claustrophobia that his work portrayed. For further information, go to the following web page: Biographical Notes. Please note that this link is only a starting point in to the life of this artist.
In 2010 a new monograph (the 4th) entitled Pierre Molinier was published (the first in English). The book dealt with the methods and genesis of his work through a collection of over 800 pictures, mostly unpublished, numerous documents, manuscripts and letters, a complete chronology, an excellent critical biography and text by Jean-Luc Merciť.
Knowledge is never a waste.
Online: June 2004 (updated 2017)