Henry Leutwyler: Hi there!
Published by Steidl.
Text by Graham Howe, Henry Leutwyler.
"Henry Leutwyler photographs every page in an address book said to be Sinatra's, which includes presidents, mogus, showbiz legends and many of the musicians and confidantes who were close to him.” –Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal
As with his past photographic portrayals of celebrity relics, Henry Leutwyler’s (born 1961) method in Hi there! is to coax an object’s meanings to the surface in photos at once deadpan and forensic, but observed with a reverence that makes it come alive. Here we peer into Frank Sinatra’s private pocket phone book. From what today seems like the quaintness of analogue-era 1970s, we come to know Sinatra’s circle and speculate on the meaning of those relationships. The over 100 names and numbers here include direct lines to Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Spiro Agnew, Barry Goldwater and other important governmental figures, through which Sinatra had immediate access to the American political machine.
With connections to American businessmen Walter Annenberg, Laurance Rockefeller, Marvin Davis and John Kluge (at the time reputedly the richest person in the country), Sinatra knew just how to tap into capital. Among his fellow artists who were just a phone call away were Dean Martin, Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, Jerry Lewis and Buddy Rich. We even learn the names of Sinatra’s doctors and dentists, no doubt the best in their profession for Ol’ Blue Eyes.