The Easel

The Iconic Images Behind Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ Video

Beyonce’s new single has been linked to the Storyville photos of EJ Bellocq. Bellocq was an early 20th century white commercial photographer who privately recorded New Orleans city life including of its red light district. These images have been widely acclaimed and were the subject of a 1970 MoMA exhibition. “[U]ltimately, the reason for [the Storyville portraits] staying power is that they capture their subjects’ dignity”.