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Monday, March 15, 2010

Black and White Babe of the Week: 17 Girl drinking coffee in the kitchen by Stefan de Lay

Trying to find cups that match your knickers is a trial for most women


Belgian photographer Stefan de Lay (b.1966) is an artist we expect will feature in this slot quite heavily over the coming months. Many of his photographs are a little frank for this site so we may have to put them up on Venus Observations instead.


Stefan remains a photographer of the old school and won't have anything to do with digital photography. Instead he relies on his trusty Hasselblad and makes prints on the highest quality selenium treated baryte paper.


I'm not sure whether these pictures are a deliberate series or whether he just enjoys photographing half-dressed women as if he has just found them wandering around his kitchen at breakfast time. Anyway, here is a collection of these delightful "found objects".




Agent Triple P can well understand the appeal of the slightly dishevelled woman at breakfast scenario. Make this a continental woman and, for some reason, the erotic frisson increases enormously.


It is, we think, a rite of passage to have a young lady around for breakfast following a night of passion. Triple P's initial encounters with girls never led to sleep overs: not surprising given the very narrow beds at university and fact that in living at home before that opportunities were limited to brief explorations during the day when everyone else was out (a rare occurence). Although, there is an appeal to finding a young lady in a state of deshabille on one's own premises when it is her premises the excitement is considerably heightened. Part of the enticement is that you discover the lady in question floating around the kitchen making toast or tea. Pottering about, secure in the fact that she doesn't feel the need to get completely dressed. Perhaps breakfast is just an opportunity for interim sustenance before retiring once more to a crumpled bed.

Triple P's first experience of this delightful scenario was in Rome. We had had several lunches with the lovely I, an aristocratic young lady who had been arranged as our companion for a dinner party. She was a few years younger than Triple P and impressed us at said function by crunching on a raw spring onion (they seemed to be something of a novelty in Rome), looking us stright in the eye and asking us if "we liked strong things"! It turned out that she was a very keen runner too and one day after work (it must have neen Friday as we finished at 1.00pm; Romans not bothering to work on Friday afternoons in those days) we went to the gym together (Roman Sport Centre under the Borghese Gardens: a very impressive establishment with extraordinary scenery!). After a very hot and tiring few laps running around the park that summer afternoon Triple P invited her to dinner at the Excelsior Hotel. She turned us down and instead suggested dinner, later, in her apartment. This turned out to be on the Corso Vittoria Emanuele II and was, like many Roman apartments we have experienced, a rambling space with high ceilings and an eclectic collection of old furniture: Italians spend more on their clothes than on their interior decor. This was a Friday night and she cooked, we remember spaghetti alla vongole which we had with a bottle or two of Frascati. One thing having led to another (with I very much in the driving seat-and what a lovely seat she had-all that running had worked wonders on her muscle tone) and we ended up staying up very late. When Triple P woke up (quite late- I was very enthusiastic) the next morning it was to an empty bed but clattering sounds elsewhere in the apartment. Venturing out in a state of some trepidation (the first morning after the night before is often delicate) we found I in the kitchen, wearing a white cotton tee shirt and nothing else, making hot chocolate.

Mr de Lay's images conjure up a whole cornucopia of sensory memories: the aroma of hot chocolate (one would guess that being a Belgian at least some of the cups depicted in his photographs would contain this rather than coffee), bare feet padding across black and white tiles, a shaft of morning sunlight catching the fine blonde hairs on the back of I's thighs and derriere as she bent down to extract some milk from her very fifties looking refrigerator. Above all the warmth of her skin and the unwashed, non-perfumed smell of raw girl as she sat on Triple P's lap and fed us segments of orange. Splendid!


So we like Mr de Lay's breakfast girls and will feature more of his photography another time.


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