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Thames & Hudson is set to publish a new book entitled “famous,” a photographic expedition through the world of celebrity. Expected to be released in May, the book spans 40 years of legendary figures as they invite or avoid the inevitable attention of the camera. Photojournalists Bruno Mouron and Pascal Rostain, who first collaborated in the 1970s for Paris Match and later founded the photo agency Sphinx, captured the tension between performance and vulnerability, distance and tangibility, fiction and reality, transforming each photo into an inquiry into the function celebrity serves in our culture. The 195-page paperback will retail for $34.95.
Website: Thames & Hudson Books
Thames & Hudson Books Press Release
Thames & Hudson is excited to publish famous (May 2013), a photographic expedition through the dynamic and riveting world of celebrity. The images in this new book span 40 years of legendary figures as they invite or avoid the inevitable attention of the camera. London, Paris, and other fashionable cities across the globe provide living backdrops for the publicly unfolding narrative of such characters as Kate Moss, Woody Allen, Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor.
Photojournalists Bruno Mouron and Pascal Rostain, who first collaborated in the 1970s for Paris Match and later founded the photo agency Sphinx, become interlocutors with these celebrities, resulting in a fascinating visual conversation. (Mouron and Rostain gained international acclaim for their project “Trash,” a photographic investigation of consumerism and voyeurism documenting the contents of celebrity trash cans.)
Their pictures capture the tension between performance and vulnerability, distance and tangibility, fiction and reality, transforming each frame into an inquiry into the function celebrity serves in our culture. A photograph of Brigitte Bardot posing on set is juxtaposed with one of her sleeping on her husband’s shoulder, calling into question the distinction between public and private life while capturing her timeless beauty. The blur from sudden motion or the graininess of a nighttime exposure convey the spontaneity of the photojournalism genre, providing the images with a strange vitality.
As Philippe Garner, International Head of 20th-Century Decorative Art & Design at Christie’s, writes in his compelling Introduction, “The conventional history of photography has tended to privilege practitioners with lofty artistic ambitions and those who would prefer to see the medium elevated to the level of fine art…Our protagonists, however, are more pragmatic, seeing the truth and authority of the image as fundamental, and fastidious technique as mere window dressing.”
famous interrogates not only our culture’s fascination with celebrity, but the purpose and potential of the photographic medium itself.