Unknown Early Buk Photo?

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Johnny Brewton posted this on facebook. He said that John Martin says that it is not Buk. If it is not, DAMN, it is his doppelganger. Any thoughts? It seems to be the right time....

who.jpg
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Wow, check out the cowlick (?) in this photo: http://bukowski.net/photos/bukowski039.php, then click three photos previous (with his parents). In the photo with Marina, the hairline looks identical to the photo you posted, Bill, but his face is more rounded, while in the photo with his parents, his face is thinner; much like in this "mystery" photo.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
If I did'nt know any better I would think it was a photo of Buk. Of course, the face is much thinner, but maybe he was living on a Payday candy a day at the time.:D The lips looks a bit thicker than Buk's, I think, but it could easily be his twin brother. Pretty spooky!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
I thought the same thing, Bill, when I saw that on Brewton's Facebook page. Look at the eyes, the cheeks, the nose. Not just a facial resemblance; it feels like he's behind that face. If I had to bet, I'd lay money on it being him.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
It was a facebook post. He mentions that John Martin says that it is not Bukowski, but otherwise, there is no info that would help. I'll ask him if there is a backmark. Certainly if it is from L.A. that would help make the argument...
Bill
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I swear I've seen a similar shot before. it's a photo booth picture, no? maybe I've seen one of the others from the strip.

I'd bet my left nut it's Bukowski. look at the picture in Uncle Howie's Bukowski in Pictures (pg. 43, lower right). it even looks like the same shirt.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
That looks like Henry Charles Bukowski Jnr to me, circa 1947.
 

David

Over 500 posts
Very amazing...The sunken cheeks with the signs of the acne vulgaris... This, if it is Buk, seems to me the most remarkable photo I've seen from this period.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
That curved scar over the left eyebrow should be visible on other photos...
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I think that's just aging/discolouration of the photo.

It does look like it's mounted behind glass, like an exhibit somewhere.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Whoa. Eyes, nose, hairline ... if that's not Bukowski something really strange is going on.

Would be very interesting to hear where this picture is coming from.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I think that's just aging/discolouration of the photo.

It does look like it's mounted behind glass, like an exhibit somewhere.
Maybe, but isn't there a similar line / scar in this pic?:
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
It may be possible to date the photo from the holder, within a range if years. That could rule it out as Buk, or it could add weight to the possibility it's him.

As much as it looks exactly like him, it could just be a coincidence. At any given time there have been millions of young men that age. There's also a phenomenon where people during a certain period resemble each other more than people from different periods. It's partly style of clothing and hair cuts, but it's also deeper than that, something about how they carry themselves, how they present to the world. So maybe that's what's going on here. A guy in the late 40s who just happens to look exactly like Bukowski. But I still think it's him. Far too dead on even for coincidence. It may be a random, unidentified photo that somebody found in a thrift store or yard sale, that just happens to be a picture of Buk. That could happen. Just because it isn't identified as him doesn't mean it's not him. But if it says "Jerry Bersky" on the back, it's just a coincidence.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
[...] The lips looks a bit thicker than Buk's, I think, [...]
That's what I was thinking. (Buk hat a habit of pressing his lips together, like in order to cope with pain.)
But other than that, it has much of him.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Mr. Martin would like this "conversation" and bald-faced speculation to immediately cease, as he has made clear in his statement, declaration and proclamation that the gentleman depicted in the photograph in question is not Mr. Bukowski.

Mr. Martin further requests that this thread be closed immediately and stricken from the record and the Internet at large, ipso facto and prima facie, et al.

Thank you.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
That's what I was thinking. (Buk hat a habit of pressing his lips together, like in order to cope with pain.)
But other than that, it has much of him.
Right! The shape of the lips are different too, especially the upper lip. That's why I think it is'nt Buk. Besides, we have all heard of uncanny look-a-likes, and I think we have one of them here. I could be wrong of course.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Roni, thanks for the early photos. The ones that look closest to being at the same age as the automat photo are those at 11 and 12 o'clock, with neck tie, and the high school annual shot at 5 o'clock. The others look about 10 years older to me. I'm not sure I agree about the lips in the unknown photo being fuller or a different shape. Any apparent difference could be the moustache in the later photos. The clean-shaven high school face lips look very similar to the "unknown" photo, I think. The ear shape is very similar, too. A digital overlay of the unknown photo with the earliest photos from this age would be interesting -- one of those match ups where the distance between key points is compared.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Compared to the yearbook photo, I still think it's Bukowski. Happy New Year.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
the lips look bigger because he's so gaunt.

as for the different shape of lips, in all the pics roni posted he's very slightly smiling, unlike this mystery photo.

you can also see the mole under the edge of his left eye in the picture, as well as his dark upper and lower eyelids.

also a good way to compare is the shape of the ears. they curl out slightly at the top and bottom.

the acne scars below his bottom lip also seem to match.

the haunted expression alone makes me believe it's him. amazing pic.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
the haunted expression alone makes me believe it's him. amazing pic.
Yup. This guy has Bukowski's soul. If it's not him, it's his unknown bastard brother, the product of a wild night shift at the art museum when Henry Senior got into it with the girl who works the coffee cart.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
[...] those at 11 and 12 o'clock, with neck tie, and the high school annual shot at 5 o'clock.
The others look about 10 years older [...]
you're right, the others are older, but it's not easy to find old Buk-pics at all. The out-of-focus-pic at 7 o'clock is from 1956, the others are early 60s.

I still think, the lips are the major point against it being Buk. (He sure isn't "smiling" at 2 o'clock, btw.) In most of the pics at any time we know, he's either pressing his lips together or at least has a slim upper lip. I've never seen his upper lip being curled in such a delicate way.

[...] the shape of the ears. [...]
You're definitely right on the ears! These are striking. Would've been interesting to see and compare the curls inside the ear-conch.

What I find remarkable about the nose is, the one on the mystic pic seems to look closer to the later ones (at 9 o'clock and 10 o'clock) than to the earlier ones (yearbook), but this can be a matter of perspective.

Maybe one of you detectives can come up with another VERY early shot from a similar perspective, that helps us decide.

I'm still not convinced. The lips don't convince me.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
What I find remarkable about the nose is, the one on the mystic pic seems to look closer to the later ones (at 9 o'clock and 10 o'clock) than to the earlier ones (yearbook), but this can be a matter of perspective.
Interesting; to me, the nose in the yearbook photo is identical to the nose in the "unknown" picture. But there's something about the photo that keeps me from being almost sure that it's Buk. I can't say just what that is though.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Over 500 posts
i can't just kannt see in comparing those photos anything to doubt that that is not bukowski. Mr Martin seems definite about it. We'd like to know whoy. I mean why.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
I'm still not convinced. The lips don't convince me.
Same here! I've never seen a photo of Buk where his upper lip curled like that.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
When I first saw the photo, I thought that the curled up corners of the mouth weren't Buk's. But then I looked at the crease which is between the lips and the chin. That crease has the same irregular line as in the later photos. My first impression was that it wasn't him but now I think that it is not impossible.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Would help to know something (anything) about the picture. Context is everything.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
The mode of dress, degree of concentration, focal point of his eyes, and body position is strongly evocative of someone making a bet at a card table.
 
Top