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Hatje Cantz

Paperback, 7.75 x 8.5 in. / 200 pgs / 10 color / 100 duotone.

Pub Date
Out of print

D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2012 p. 37   

ISBN 9783775733243 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $55.00

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Ron Galella: Paparazzo Extraordinaire

Foreword by Felix Hoffmann. Text by Mathias Prinz.

Ron Galella: Paparazzo ExtraordinaireRon Galella (born 1931) is the original paparazzi photographer-"the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture," as Time magazine once dubbed him. Before Galella, celebrity photographs were tightly controlled by the Hollywood studio system and PR agencies; after him, shots of stars caught unawares, whether stumbling out of night clubs drunk or just shopping for groceries, became part and parcel of how we perceive the rich and famous. "My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous," Andy Warhol once said. "It's being in the right place at the wrong time. That's why my favorite photographer is Ron Galella." Some of Gallela's most famous photographs include covertly or spontaneously snatched portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Greta Garbo, Andy Warhol, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Muhammad Ali, Madonna, Mick Jagger and Audrey Hepburn; often he has paid a high price for these photographs, having been assaulted (most famously by Marlon Brando) and taken to court (his pursuit of Jackie Kennedy was so obsessive and relentless that she took out a restraining order). Other celebrities, such as Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor, who used his photographs in her biography, have welcomed his attention. This volume presents more than 100 of his controversial photographs from the past half-century.

Featured image, "August 29, 1986: New YorkóSean Penn at the Columbus Cafť" by Ron Galella, is reproduced from Paparazzo Extraordinaire. Galella captioned the image, "After performing in the play Goose & Tom Tom at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater, bad boy Sean Penn and Madonna walked to the Gingerman Restaurant. After dinner they walked to their West 64th Street apartment building. I was among five other paparazzi photographing when Penn got furious after we stepped into the courtyard entrance and screamed 'thatís it, now you're on private property, you're dead!' He started swinging his plastic shopping bag at my nephew, Anthony Savignano, smacking him in the face. Anthony is a photographer employed by my agency. Penn then spat at Anthony and attempted to punch him, which led to a boxing match where few punches landed. Anthony spat back at Penn. Madonna screamed 'how could you do this to us, you have no business being here. Stop, Sean, stop. As her hot-tempered husband lunged at Anthony, who blocked Pennís punches, Penn caught Anthony in a headlock and Anthony grabbed Penn by the throat. Finally a doorman came out with a broom and all the paparazzi fled. As we were leaving, Penn turned and punched Vinnie in his left eye by surprise. Vinnie was a big fan of Madonna."




More than 100 shots are featured in the Hatje Cantz-published book that spans the past 50 years. There are also images of Marlon Brando (who famously roughed him up), as well as shots of Greta Garbo, Andy Warhol, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Muhammad Ali, Madonna, Mick Jagger and Audrey Hepburn.
The star-seeking Warhol was a fan, having once said, ďMy idea of a good picture is one thatís in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous. Itís being in the right place at the wrong time. Thatís why my favorite photographer is Ron Galella.Ē


Laura Kipnis

A sumptuously produced volume based on a retrospective of his work in Berlin earlier this year. Compllete with critical essays by a German critic and a media lawyer, this bilingual edition is a beautiful object in its own right: 200 gilt-edged pages each the weight and thickness of shirt cardboard; 104 gorgeously printed black-and-white images with a running commentary on Galella's antics over the years. Subjects range from Greta Garbo hiding her face behind a handkerchief to Mick Jagger giving the finger to the camera to Sean Penn punching out Galella's paparazzo nephew.

Ron Galella: Paparazzo Extraordinaire

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

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"Today, a paparazzi photo is just like any other. A commodity, a product of technical development. Taken with larger and larger lenses from an increasing distance, all the photos bear witness to the outstanding technique of the camera rather than the outstanding technique of the photographer. In contrast to the works by Ron Galella, there are no special characteristics that indicate the quality of a photographer. Nowadays, paparazzi photography is a bulk commodity and the photographs are conceivably boring. In winter one sees the celebrities in skiwear. In summer they jump off a yacht, swim, or walk along a beach. Nothing special, and very different to Ron Galellaís photos. Are those paparazzi photos at all? Not in a contemporary sense anyway. Most of the photos have been taken at close range and obviously with the assent of the person pictured. One rarely sees unsuspecting or hunted, running or frightened victims. Instead one sees the willing poses of those portrayed. These pictures do not look like a pursuit but like society photographs on a red carpet. However Ron Gallela also pursued. The court case with Jackie O., his beating by Marlon Brando and his fight with Richard Burtonís bodyguards prove that Galella was a paparazzo too. Yet he was also a photographer of a quality that no longer exists among the anonymous mass of the paparazzi today."
óMatthias Prinz, excerpted from Paparazzo Extraordinaire.


Ron Galella: New York



ISBN: 9788862083553
USD $49.95
| CAN $67.5

Pub Date: 5/31/2014
Active | Out of stock