Sunday, October 30, 2016

Slim Aarons Women

It was all about torrential rain and Mike Pence's plane on Thursday night in New York but some of us dodged both for cocktails amidst the glamorous likes of Katherine Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.

Staley Wise Gallery and Getty Images hosted the evening to celebrate the release of a new book, Slim Aarons: Women. Authored by Aarons's longtime colleague Laura Hawk, the book features over 250 images of the beautiful women who inhabited the world of privilege and leisure captured by the detail driven photographer, whose work spans the late 1940's through the 1980's. 

Aarons, born and raised in New York, was drawn to photography as a teen. A decorated war hero, he later worked freelance for LIFE,  Holiday and other magazines. Disenchanted by the war, his self proclaimed mission was to photograph "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places." (p25). So began his career among the world's socialites, celebrities, aristocrats and jet setters.  He himself always returned home from each shoot to his farm and family in Katonah, New York. 

Laura Hawk lends detailed observations and anecdotes based on her more than ten year adventure working with Slim. She refers to him as a storyteller and comments on his contribution to the genre of the "environmental portrait." She writes, "An environmental portrait tells the story of the subject's life in part through the background against which it is taken, and the background is usually considered as significant at the subject." (p19).  

This is the fifth book of Slim Aarons photographs published by Abrams, keeping his engaging visual narratives, many now iconic, both alive and well.  As for fairy tales, I once had the opportunity to have Slim Aarons himself autograph a book for a friend of mine who was then living a glamorous, poolside life of her own in Palm Beach... 

Kristie Karbstein Gerep, in Brazil 1988
Christina Onassis, in Palm Beach 1968
Katherine Hepburn, in Montego Bay, 1953
the party starts, Staley Wise Gallery; in background, 
To Any Lengths, Slim Aarons, in Las Vegas, in 1954,
photographing Mara Lane...
Leisure in Antibes, in Antibes, in 1969
Catherine Wilke, in Capri, in 1980
the author Laura Hawk, 
portraits of Mercedes Herrera de Benacerraf, in Spain, in 1987
and Ursula Pacelli, in Venice, in 1957
Poolside Glamour, in Palm Springs, in 1970
at the Richard Neutra house of Edgar Kaufman
Fan Mail, Marilyn Monroe, in Beverly Hills, in 1952
through November 26, 2016 

No comments:

Post a Comment