Christer Strömholm is one of the great personalities of Swedish photography. Born in Stockholm, he discovered photography via graphic art in the late 1940s. His photographs from this period are hard black-and-white compositions featuring walls, shadows and minimalist settings. During his sojourns in Paris in the 1950s and 60s, he developed a style reminiscent of street photography, and this is also where he produced his famous portraits of transsexuals at Place Blanche. Strömholm also went on numerous photographic expeditions to places around the globe in the early 1960s, including Spain, Japan, India and the USA. Early in his career, he began teaching at Kursverksamheten in Stockholm, and his classes eventually became the legendary Fotoskolan, from which some 1,200 students graduated between 1962 and 1974. Strömholm’s photographs and methods have inspired many generations of Swedish photographers, but he did not become known to the broader public until 1986, with the major exhibition 9 Seconds in My Life at Moderna Museet.
Originally published in 1983, Les Amies de Place Blanche focuses on the transsexual community living around the Place Blanche district of Paris in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The book established’s reputation as one of the leading photographers of the twentieth century.