Scavullo’s celebrity shots October 14, 2007Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
Tags: Arts, Athens, Events, Exhibitions, Greece, Photography
Aa a child, late fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo took joy in photographing his sisters. Looking at fashion magazines and window-shopping with his mother along Fifth Avenue were two more of his pastimes. Little did he know at the time that he would become one of the world’s top celebrity photographers.
For over five decades, Scavullo, credited by fashion circles for changing the face of beauty in the 20th century, built his reputation by immortalising established stars from the realms of fashion, beauty, music, theatre and film. His rise to fame began in 1948 when he produced his first cover photo for Seventeen. In the years to come, his portraits would grace the covers of prestigious fashion and lifestyle magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Glamour.
Three years after Scavullo’s death and as part of the 14th International Month of Photography, the Herakleidon Experience in Visual Arts Museum in collaboration with the Francesco Scavullo Foundation is hosting an exhibition of 90 Scavullo photos, highlights of a career immersed in mostly black-and-white film. Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Anthony Hopkins, Isabella Rosselini and Charlotte Rampling are just few of the super stars captured by Scavullo’s lens. He preferred photographing dynamic female actresses but also singers and dancers.
“Each photo has a story to tell,” stylist Sean M Byrnes said at a recent press meeting. Byrnes, who worked with Scavullo at Cosmopolitan beginning in 1973 and was also his life partner for 33 years, outlined his companion’s portrait: “He not only was a photographer but also a painter, an incredible entertainer and an actor, he was featured in Lamont Johnson’s 1976 drama Lipstick, starring Margaux and Mariel Hemingway. He was also a bipolar manic depressive.”
Scavullo did not hesitate to talk publicly about his disease in an attempt to help his co-sufferers. As proof of his charitable nature, he stood by supermodel Gia Carangi, whose career he helped to launch, until her death from Aids-related complications.
Never out of demand, Scavullo owed a great deal of his artistry to an innovative lighting technique that involved using muslin filters or bouncing light off a white umbrella to come up with the most becoming pictures possible. “His lighting was so wonderful,” actress Susan Sarandon once pointed out, “that the pictures always were so much flattering than I’d ever experienced”.
Francesco Scavullo’s Celebrity Portraits (1929-2004) is on at the Herakleidon Experience in Visual Arts Museum, 16 Herakleidon Street, Thissio, Athens, tel 210 3461981, through to December 2.