The Wire | Isabelle Mège & Joel-Peter Witkin
The New Yorker recently featured a story about a medical secretary in Paris, Isabelle Mège, who persuaded a number of renowned photographers to take her picture over the course of two decades. The story highlights how obsessive Mège was in her quest to be photographed. In particular, Mège relentlessly reached out to American photographer, Joel-Peter Witkin, who only agreed to meet with her after she mailed him a hand written letter covered in stamps containing a vial of her own blood. After the two met, and Witkin agreed to work with Mège, they created one of his most famous images, "Nègre’s Fetishist" (see below).
Years later at a dinner party, Witkin leaned over to Mège and reportedly whispered something to her that strikes me as truly disturbing, yet oddly romantic:
“Will you write me a note that promises me your body, after you die, so I can photograph it?”
“No,” Mège said. “I intend to outlive you.”