Click here to see more photographs by George Metivier.
George Metivier let me use one of his images to sell my movie, Bible Madness. I also hired George for a shoot with the model, Venus, who appears in my latest movie, How To Take Pictures of Naked Ordinary Women. That was the name of a booklet George sold at Glamourcons, nightclubs, lifestyle conventions, and anyplace else where he was welcome.
He was a fixture at Vampiricus, a goth nightclub in Long Beach, California. He took photos of the pleasantries, sold his photographs and greeted new models. Those who posed for him created unforgettable images that would be scene in alternative magazines from the late 90’s.
George had two studios and three residencies when I knew him. This compilation of photo shoots shows one of his apartments while the shoot with Gina was videotaped in my condominium. Carol, his wife, created masks that were used in his photos and also sold at shows where George’s art was on display.
Kelly Renee, their daughter, was the creator of Cone of Silence, a zine which chronicled her passions and struggle with growing up with a photographer who took erotic photographs with models young enough to be her friends. She also created this work featuring former Biola student and pin up sensation, Bettie Page, for my zine, Christian School Confidential.
Money was a struggle for George and, even though he received a pension from the military, there was a struggle and then a turn to some dark times. Kelly would attempt suicide in Seattle. The doctors managed to save her life, but unfortunately she escaped from the hospital and her body was found a few miles away.
Carol passed away a few years later. James Brewer, a photographer whose works I displayed at the Subversive Art Fest (which also included works by George Metivier), called me in 2014 and told me George had passed away. I could not find any obituaries then and, even today, there are still no obits or records to even show that he walked the earth: outside, of course, of a few google sightings of his photographs.
The whole family has been wiped out in the shadow of gentrification. His apartment, which might have been $800 in the 90’s, is now $3000! Would he have even been able to survive in our Covid world of plagues and uncertainties? What I can tell you is that everytime I visited his apartment, there were new images I had never seen seemingly coming out of nowhere.
He photographed celebrities, the John F. Kennedy administration, curated historical photographs that were later sold to the Long Beach Historical Association, documented the Southern California goth movement, his photos are still displayed in some coffee shops in Long Beach, California. And yet, where are the rest? I do not believe he had a will. Those images are floating in the unknown and hopefully they will get rescued by collectors on the internet.
My contribution can be seen in this video , the Eternal Vampiricus, a tribute to the late, great gothic club with photographs by George Metivier.