Harold Stephen Chapman (born 26 March 1927 in Deal) is a photographer noted for chronicalling the 1950s in Paris.
He has produced a large body of work over many years, but his most significant period was from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, when he lived in a backstreet Left Bank guesthouse in Paris later nicknamed (by Verta Kali Smart) ‘the Beat Hotel’. There he chronicled in detail the life and times of his fellow residents – among them Allen Ginsberg and his lover Peter Orlovsky, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Sinclair Beiles, Brion Gysin, Harold Norse, and other great names of Beat Generation poetry and art. When the Beat Hotel finally closed its doors in 1963, Chapman was the last guest to leave. The extraordinary collection of photographs he had taken there were to become the mainstay of his reputation, a unique record both artistic and historic.
Yet increasingly his other work attracts worldwide attention, and could yet prove a greater legacy. Portraits, landscapes, bizarre objets trouvés and, especially, distinctive enigmatic street scenes (often involving incongruous background advertising), combine his two characteristic emotions – pervasive moody anxiety and quirky wit.
Famous quotes containing the words harold and/or chapman:
“Well, at least I have the satisfaction of having destroyed a terrible monster, and in doing so rid the world of an awful curse.”
—Griffin Jay, and Harold Young. Stephen Banning (Dick Foran)
“I know an Englishman,
Being flattered, is a lamb; threatened, a lion.”
—George Chapman c. 15591634, British dramatist, poet, translator. repr. In Plays and Poems of George Chapman: The Tragedies, ed. Thomas Marc Parrott (1910)