At Box Galleries, Chelsea until 14th June
As the number one spot for contemporary art, Box Galleries in Chelsea will host a new exhibition titled ‘FAME’ showcasing 30 rare and unseen celebrity portraits captured over a span of 40 years from renowned photographers Andy Gotts, Terry O’Neill and Doug Kirkland. Their shared passion for capturing rare, off-screen moments in the lives of famous music and film stars is beautifully curated in this new exhibition, portrayed by three of the most famous photographers in the world.
Andy is a photographer based in London, England, and New York, USA. He is most noted for his black and white portraits of Hollywood actors and singers. The National Portrait Gallery holds a selection of his photographs in their permanent collection and in 2009 Gotts was honoured with the presentation of the Fox Talbot Award. In 2011 Gotts was conferred the degree Doctor of Arts by De Montfort University and he is a former President of the British Institute of Professional Photographers. Andy has photographed the likes of Judy Garland, Rolling Stones, members of the British Royal Family and prominent politicians, showing a more natural and human side to these subjects than had usually been portrayed before.
Terry O’Neill is a renowned celebrity photographer whose iconic portraits have been used for various album covers and some are currently hanging in museums. Terry’s photographic career began at Vogue, Paris Match and Rolling Stone where he worked as a Freelancer. After Terry developed a friendship with actors Michael Caine and Richard Burton and married to the actress Faye Dunaway, Terry gained access to this inner circle at play allowed him to capture his subjects at their ease, often in unusual settings, their posture abruptly angled or delicately inclined.
Canadian photographer, Douglas Kirkland joined Look Magazine in his early twenties, and later Life Magazine during the golden age of 60’s/70’s photojournalism. Among his assignments were essays on Greece, Lebanon and Japan as well as fashion and celebrity work, photographing Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich among others. Through the years, Douglas Kirkland has worked on the sets of over one hundred motion pictures. Among them, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “2001 A Space Odyssey”, “Sound of Music”, “Out of Africa”, “Titanic” “Moulin Rouge”, “Australia” and “The Great Gatsby” Baz Luhrmann’s film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
Every one of us has a fascination with celebrity and fame and this continues to grow. Through social media, everyone famous is now a celebrity and everyone who is a celebrity is famous. What this exhibition demonstrates is that true talent, strength and beauty validated through film or music will always be appreciated and respected as a true star – enduring and remembered.
The exhibition coincides with this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the photographer’s dream, where stars and starlets vie for validation and embrace the Hollywood glamour of the red carpet.
Works from Andy Gotts new Unseen series feature unseen and untouched celebrity portraits shot in a raw, vulnerable and intimate style. His subjects are shown through vibrant and fun contact sheets with Kate Moss posing through to Harrison Ford pulling faces.
Represented by Box Galleries in London, his works held in both private and public collections, and this year major projects include ‘iCons’ for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, as well as a personal project ‘UNSEEN’ which features 100 photographic contact-sheets.
Terry O’Neill, who joins Gotts and Kirkland, has photographed the frontline of fame for over six decades from presidents to the stars of the silver screen and his fascination with the fame and talent of his models is showcased in this exhibition. His series captures the charisma of these superstars at the peak of their careers.
O’Neill’s famous and favourite images include instantly recognisable works including the wonderfully feminine portrait of Bardot in Deauville to the controversial work of Raquel Welch strung up on the cross. Just as he found the stars he photographed fanciable, they too were seduced by the power of his lens.
Douglas Kirkland photographed Marilyn Monroe on November 17, 1961, before she died a few months later in 1962. The stunning photographs of Monroe as she posed for Kirkland lying on a bed enveloped only in white silk sheets have since become iconic. The 1961 photo shoot became a historic event, due to the intimate exchange between Kirkland and Monroe. At the time, Kirkland was a young 27-year old photojournalist for Look Magazine, who spent the evening alone with Monroe, a 35-year old sex symbol and film star.
Besides the iconic images of Marilyn, this series of work includes behind the scenes black and white photographs of Kirkland, taken during his photo shoot with Monroe in a California studio. The photo session required three encounters with Monroe, which according to Kirkland was like meeting three different women. Prior to the shoot, she was a sweet, naïve actress, during the photo session he encountered a seductress and the following day Monroe was a distressed, despondent woman.
Location and opening times:
402 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LJ
Admission is Free