Tag Archives: Woody Allen

Tearsheet of The Day | 25 June 2012

Platon’s portraits of one of my all time favourite  filmmakers, Woody Allen, in the latest edition of Newsweek International, to coincide with the release of Allen’s latest film To Rome With Love.

Newsweek (Int’l ed.) 25 June 2012 issue. Photos © Platon.

Platon(b.1968, London) is a British portrait photographer based in New York. He is a staff photographer at The New Yorker and his work appears regularly in the Time magazine.

He is perhaps most known in the photojournalism community for his 2007  photo of Russian president Vladimir Putin, which was awarded the 2008 World Press Photo Portrait prize. You can see Platon talk about the shoot here.

Platon’s most recent book is Power: Portraits of World Leaders, which is also available for the iPad.

Ron Galella: America’s Most Famous Paparazzi Photographer

Ron Galella, America’s most famous paparazzi photographer, likes to say he owes his career to the U.S. Air Force. After studying art in high school, Galella was working with ceramics after graduation when the Korean War broke out in June 1950. Rather than being drafted for combat, he decided to enlist for an arts-related position in the Air Force. Though he’d never studied it before, Galella discovered photography to be the closest discipline to fine art. After the war, he pursued the medium academically, studying photojournalism at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, which introduced him to the world of Hollywood.

“That’s when I got hooked on celebrities,” says Galella, who would reinvent celebrity paparazzi culture over the next few decades through his relentless style and candid portraits. “Being in Hollywood, I figured I’d see what these stars look like.” The young lensman crashed premieres, introduced himself to celebrities and even took an acting class to overcome his shyness about rubbing elbows with Hollywood’s A-List.

Though he’d photograph countless stars throughout his career, including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando, Galella’s favorite subject would become First Lady Jackie Kennedy. “She was my muse, my golden girl,” Galella says. “She was my ideal subject for many reasons—she did not pose, she was active, and for the most part, she would ignore my camera.” Even later restraining orders issued against Galella would not deter his obsession with the notoriously private Kennedy.

Galella has largely stepped out of the spotlight over the last 20 years, since he and his wife moved to New Jersey in 1992. But he continues to cover prominent culture events from the annual Tony Awards to this year’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala (for the record, he thought singer Beyoncé was best-dressed). “The paparazzi culture has changed drastically,” he says. “When I did it, you had the great freedom to shoot—no fans, no security, no publicists. And I don’t miss it too much because I have the gold in my files.”

Ron Galella is an American photographer. More of his work can be seen here. A new book of his work, Ron Galella: Paparazzo Extraordinaire!, is available from Hatje Cantz publishers.

Cindy Sherman: The Heroine with a Thousand Faces

If you follow art at all you already know that Cindy Sherman takes pictures only of herself, but she always insists she doesn’t make self-portraits. True enough—it would be more accurate to say that for the past 35 years, she’s been producing a portrait of her times as they flow through the finely tuned instrument of her baroque psyche. Again and again in her spine-tingling retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City—it runs there from Feb. 26 to June 11, then travels to San Francisco, Minneapolis and Dallas—you also discover she’s made a portrait of you.

Growing up in a New York suburb, Sherman loved to play dress-up. In 1977, when she was 23 and just out of Buffalo State College, she started playing it with a vengeance. For three years, she photographed herself in costumes, wigs and settings that drew from the deep pool of movie images in which we’re all immersed from childhood. In what eventually grew to a series of 70 “Untitled Film Stills,” she took on the role of career girl, housewife, siren and woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Six years before Woody Allen got there, she became the Zelig of the collective unconscious, the heroine with a thousand faces.

By 1995, when MoMA reportedly paid what was then the newsmaking sum of $1 million for a full set of the “Untitled Movie Stills,” Sherman was well established as one of the pivotal artists of her generation. Year after year she would roll out new variations on the theme of unruly identity. Her private universe of enigmatic faces and wiggy characters appears in prints that are big—6 ft. tall and more. The colors can be harsh and aggressive. Though she sometimes offers herself quietly to the camera, her face as round and innocuous as an aspirin, she can also look feral, sinister and unhinged. Writers who profile Sherman always mention how nice she is. It’s her art that’s ferocious—and very canny in its appreciation of the way we all live out our lives through masks and role-playing. By devoting herself to the ancient mystery of metamorphosis, Cindy Sherman came early to the discovery that life is the ultimate makeover show.

(Read More: Cindy Sherman Photographs for MAC Cosmetics Campaign)

The Cindy Sherman retrospective will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City Feb. 26 – June 11, 2012.

Phil Toledano: Kim Jong Phil

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For years now, I’ve been thinking (on a Woody Allen level of obsession) what it means to be an artist. (more)

I reflect on the elaborate psychological mechanisms required to pursue something so elusive, so ambiguous. I alternate between wild confidence, sure and definite in my belief that i’m onto something, and wild despair. My ideas are shit. They’re relevant to no-one but myself. I often wonder: ‘Am I talking to myself?’

I’ve never made work for other people. But as an artist, I need to be in dialogue with the world that exists beyond my overpopulated cranium.

I’ve concluded that to be effective-to be functional-I must guzzle an eye-popping cocktail of delusion and narcissism.

It occurred to me that being an artist is a great deal like being a dictator.

Just like a dictator, I must live in a closed loop of self-delusion. A place where my words and ideas always ring true. A gilded daydream of grandiosity. There can be no room for doubt. I must be convinced that I have something vital to say. I must believe that the world is waiting in keen anticipation to hear my message.

For my palette, I’ve copied pre-existing dictatorial art. Paintings from North Korea, statues of assorted dictators (Kim Il Sung, Laurent Kabilla, and Saddam Hussein). I had these works re-created in China, and each instance, I’ve replaced the great leaders with myself.

Visit the website with more images.