Founder Julien Piscioneri’s IG celebrates the best monochrome photography from the 50s through to now
If you’re looking for a hit of romantic black-and-white photographs depicting years gone by, hit follow on @imfrenchbutidontsmoke – the IG account invoking a heady sense of nostalgia with each and every post.
@imfrenchbutidontsmoke is curated by Julien Piscioneri (@julsdylan), a New York-based photographer. “It started as an inspiration page,” he explains. “I wanted to share and curate the aesthetic that I’m drawn to the most.” The name of the account started out as a joke: “It happened when I was out with my friend. People were always asking me for a cigarette or a lighter, but I don’t smoke. We kept joking about me being French and not smoking and the name stuck.”
Piscioneri uses four words to describe his account, “nostalgic, French, new wave”. Sourcing his images online, or by flicking through rare titles in book stores, he only posts images that he feels an instant connection with. “For me, it’s about the emotion seen in the subject’s eyes.” They must be black and white too – an obsession of Piscioneri’s that stems from the fact that the majority of his most-loved photographers solely shoot in the medium. “It’s also reflective of my personal work, even though I’m trying to move more towards colour now,” he says.
Follow his account and you’ll find both candid and staged portraiture spanning the 50s through to the present – taken by photographers including Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, Hedi Slimane, Bruce Weber and Mario Sorrenti. The faces are familiar – everyone from Jane Birkin, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Brigitte Bardot, to Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg photographed through the ages.