|Go Johnny Go | Pigozzi on Paparazzi - The New York Times Style Magazine|
|Long before Steven Meisel was plumbing the depths of tabloid culture for satirical editorial spreads in Italian Vogue, influential photographers were zooming in on the subject of celebrity and presaging the paparazzi phenomenon that has overtaken pop culture. Pigozzi and the Paparazzi, a show currently at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, blurs the line between art and commerceand high and lowpresenting the work of eight influential photographers with a unique perspective on the art of pursuing famous quarry. Spanning the 1920s to the current day, the timeline starts with Erich Solomons secret shots of politicians and courtroom proceedings from the 20s and 30san ür-form for the genre, which extends into Weegees starkly voyeuristic 40s street scenes. The 50s and 60s are represented by Edward Quinn and Tazio Secchiarolis straightforward shots of film stars like Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly (including Kellys first date with Prince Rainier). Ron Galella, Daniel Angeli and Jean Pigozzi offer three approaches to visually skinning a high-profile catch with Galellas famous Surprise! shots of Jackie O. that earned him a restraining order, while Angelis telephoto images of Princess Diana morphed into the flashpoint for the controversy surrounding the potential danger of the paparazzi. Pigozzi, a successful businessman and consummate playboy, is the celebrities photographer of choice, a member of their milieu whose chummy snapshots, often taken of him with his famous friends, pose no danger of real exposure. Newton, meanwhile, is the most meta of the bunch: his paparazzi-inspired work, including a 1967 story in British Vogue, beat Meisel to the punch by 40 years, proving that fashion photographys penchant for navel-gazing is deeper than we think.
Pigozzi and the Paparazzi runs through November 16th.
Jerry Hall, Jean Pigozzi and Mick Jagger, Paris 1978. (Jean Pigozzi)