Patrick and his assistant already poised with their cameras at ready and voila, he would start shooting as the model tries to blend in with the scenery. The traffic coming to standstill, pedestrians breaking their strides doing a double take and the café crowd shaking their heads in amazement. Suddenly, they would hear the shrill screaming of sirens and the twirling blue flashes of the flag lights closing in on them. Everyone would be sucked back inside the gateway van standing in the middle of the street  with its motor running. The doors slammed, tires screeching and they would be on their way before the gendarme catch up with them. Ensconced back in the van, everyone is laughing and feeling mighty smug at the feat they together have pulled off. As the sirens fade, Patrick and his assistant are already unloading the films from their cameras and tucking them away in their gear bags, loading new films.

Their next destination? Père Lachaise Cemetery. The model Nathalie’s naked body is painted black – the color of tarnished bronze. Soon as the van stops, she climbs out and runs to the the grave of the 19th century poet Victor Noir and promptly mounts his life size horizontal  statue with her legs wide apart and her crotch rubbing against his sculpted bulge of shiny copper.  No, she is not just acting ecstatic, but as Patrick would recount later, during the shoot Nathalie really got turned on, leaving behind the residue of her feminine scent on the poor Noir. Over the period of time, the statue has become a symbol of fertility of sorts like that of Shiva’s erect lingam, (Living Dangerously, Playboy, May 1990, also collected in the book Exhibition in Paris)

And then he takes one of his models – of course au naturell up on a helicopter ride, hovering at low altitude, the whole Paris looking upwards with their necks craned while he is floating aboard a balloon at the parallel height and shooting her sight-seeing.

If not as daring, following the success of Playboy pictorial about The Women of Russia – shot by Alexander Borodulin (Mission: Implausible, Playboy February 1990), while talking about other such pictorials, the photo editor Jeff Cohen  and Patrick utter almost simultaneously – Cuba. The island verboten to us poor Americans. A bit of a problem. But Patrick is not the kind to shy away from them. Through the Cuban counsel in Paris, he works towards acquiring permission to do just that, The Girls of Cuba (Cuba Libre, Playboy March 1991). Equally as adventurous, Jeff finds a way to make it to the island via Mexico – his passport bearing no proof of him swilling Cuba libres under the nose and the protection of the people of Fidel Castro. Considering the political situation and restrictions, they come back home with the images of some tantalizing island beauties – among them, Idolka de Erbiti. Patrick promptly falls in love with her, and does something he has avoided doing so far. Marry Idolka and bring her back to the city of lights.

But when he can, Patrick is not satisfied just shooting glamorous nudes. What turns him on and gets his creative juices flowing are the extreme fantasies and making them come to life in his photography. On that day he has shown up with the beauty and the beast to propose a pictorial with the girl and the tiger cub frolicking. What was there not to agree?

Patrick and I hit of off almost right away and soon he would take me along to show real Paris. It is Patrick who takes me to the Paris off the beaten tracks. For the first time I get a taste of Moroccan and North African food and savor how delicious the humble couscous could be. He takes me to small and inexpensive bistros in the neighborhoods that are far away from the center. Often we would be accompanied by some of his friends and his beautiful models. What he shows me is the different Paris than what I have been exposed to so far, and I am loving it. Those soirées bring us closer and the more I get to know him, more I am amazed at how impish and child like he is. His face wears a continuous mischievousness in that he is amazed at everything that is life. Sometimes I feel that he is living as if every day were the last day of his life.

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