“Because one day to celebrate women is not enough. 20 contemporary artists will present their vision of femininity and their love and appreciation for women at the Plaza Athénée. Whether it is their strength or their fragility, women have always been a favourite subject for artists. Since the dawn of time they have been and continue to be represented and staged in every form from songs to poems to paintings. A glance, a smile, or a subtle detail, are all they need to immortalize femininity through art. A true reference to Julien Clerc’s mythical song, this unique exhibition pays tribute to all women. Whether soft, fatal, committed, fragile, iconic, or anonymous, women today, more than ever, have an unprecedented voice and impact that is impossible to ignore.”
Audrey Drigues Trabelsi
Cofounder of Art Photo Expo worldwide
and curator of “Femmes je vous aime” exhibition.
Claude Azoulay, a French artist, began his career with Paris Match. It was built within the magazine’s editorial team and the world around it. He did not leave the magazine until 1996. It is under the patronage of Willy Rizzo, that he learned to work as a photographer. He followed and covered the great dramas of the second half of the 20th century such as the Algerian war, the Six-Day War, the Kippur war, the Lebanon war and the Yugoslavian war. But current events also pushed him to Saint-Tropez, London or Hollywood on film sets facing Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, John Huston or Kirk Douglas, and in the studios of artists like the dark Bacon or the eccentric Warhol …
Claude Azoulay’s photos, “it is the life which speaks…” If he had been a painter, he would have chosen to sketch. A line so fast, so lively … that it becomes alive.
“Keep moving” repeats Claude Azoulay. That is how he applied his principles to the art of photography. Do not count on him to freeze the moment. He runs after the moment. Never tired. That is why Claude Azoulay has no memory, his pictures are only a collection of presents, 60 years of presents, gathered there, in these photos.The war and the stars, the society women and the underground workers, the popes and the presidents… the opposite of the still life. Claude Azoulay’s photos, it is life which speaks.
Daniele Georget (journalist, writer)
Internationally renowned photographer, Giuliano Bekor has a portfolio including works in the fields of fashion, beauty, celebrities, advertising and fine art. Inspired by the Pop universe, his works are composed of light, color, space and shapes. Bekor concretizes his conceptualized ideas in his own imagination throughout his work. A restless visionary, he never stops to express his fresh and nuanced style. Crazy Horse are photographs taken by Bekor using a face projection. This image projection is the artist’s signature which requires a good precision. He is supported by the famous SAATCHI gallery.
Michel Comte has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, he worked for all the major international magazines and put his stamp on numerous international advertising campaigns. Born in Zurich in 1954, with a compulsively acquisitive eye and self-taught as a photographer, Comte enjoyed a meteoric rise after being discovered by Karl Lagerfeld when he moved to Paris in the late 70s as a trained fine art restorer. His body of work is both vast and distinctive. Intensely private, Michel Comte remained an enigma, even to those who worked frequently with him. He is both auteur and voyeur, driven to capture what Sargent called ‘the animal in the sitter’ more by compulsion than commission. His iconic portraits from the world of art, music, film, sports and fashion all carry his signature style: an essential ability to conjure in the sitter something so spontaneous, intimate and authentic, that it connects with the viewer for all time. Not one to discount the value of experience over affinity, he is famously quoted to have responded deadpan to the question of how long it takes him to perfect a great spontaneous shot: “30 years and 5 minutes”.
George Dambier was born in Paris in April 1925. In early 1942, with WWII raging, Dambier, at age 17, began assisting the famous artist and poster designer Paul Colin who introduced him to the world of fashion, interiors, antiques and, most of all, to beautiful Parisian women. At the end of the war, Dambier assisted the up-and-coming photographer Willy Rizzo. He quickly moved on from assisting and became a photographic reporter working on a range of stories for”“Le Tout-Paris. It was his natural skill with graphics and penchant for stylish women which led him to concentrate on fashion photography. Within a few years he was regularly photographing the beauties of the day: Dorien Leigh, Suzy Parker and Brigitte Bardot. He was hired by Helene Lazareff, director of ELLE, the fashion magazine. She encouraged him and gave him his first assignment as a fashion photographer. It is these fashion photos, where women are sublimated, that remain in history today. He was also the co founder artistic director of “VSD”, whose logo he had even created.
In 1959, during the school holidays, Tony Frank, whose real name was Jean Laulhé, discovered photography, jazz and blues: photography and music became two passions. Since the 1960s, raised to the sound of Fats Domino, ElvisPresley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Tommy Steele, he has frequented the stars Johnny Hallyday, Long Chris and of course Eddy Mitchell. After a few collaborations with Music Hall magazines and record covers. He became the official photographer of Johnny Hallyday for more than 40 years, Serge Gainsbourg, Michel Polnareff, Nathalie Baye, Bob Dylan, Véronique Sanson, Laurent Voulzy, Alain Souchon, many Anglo-Saxon groups.
Tony Frank & Serge Gainsbourg
In 1968, the Philips record company asked Tony Frank to make portraits for a record cover. Five photos were finally selected from this series. Serge Gainsbourg later said that these portraits were among his favourites. This moment marks the beginning of a long collaboration, a relationship of trust and friendship. Tony regularly photographed Serge at his home on rue de Verneuil, in the studio, with his family and in concert.
Ormond Gigli became famous early during the 1950s for his photographs of theatre, celebrities, dance, exotic persons, and international publications. During the 1970s and 1980s, Gigli turned to advertising photography, while continuing his editorial work. His assignments took him around the world many times. Girls in the Windows: And Other Stories is the first book to survey the work of Ormond Gigli and escorts the viewer behind the facade of that incredible photograph.
“It was the summer of 1960, I glanced out of the window of my studio in Manhattan and noticed that a row of brownstones opposite were being prepared for demolition. Looking at the design of the empty windows, an idea struck me: put a woman wearing colourful clothes in each of the openings. I sent over someone from my staff to talk to the demolition supervisor. He agreed to let us go ahead – provided we used his wife in the photograph. We could shoot the next day during their lunch hour, he said. After that, the building would be gone. So, with 24 hours to pull it off, we called up all our contacts to find models and locate a Rolls-Royce to sit on the sidewalk in front. The next morning I was in the studio and had the feeling that it wasn’t going to work out. Then my assistant came in and said: “Ormond, you’d better get the camera up on the fire escape. There are people filling up the windows and more coming in taxis.” All of a sudden it was happening. There were models, socialites, my wife, the supervisor’s wife, all wearing their best dresses. I moved them around to spread out the colours and told them to pose as if they were giving someone a kiss. The noon sun was overhead and the light shone between the streets. Miraculously, the police didn’t come by and stop us – and, within an hour, I had my shot.”
Douglas Kirkland has been at the cutting edge of fashion, photojournalism and portraiture, working for the world’s most reputable magazines, for more than 50 years. As a young photographer he was assigned to shoot Marilyn Monroe and during several hours in a closed studio one night, captured a stunning portfolio of alluring and intimate images that survive to this day as a testament to her beauty and vulnerability. During the golden age of 60’s-70’s photojournalism his assignments ranged from The Trans Siberian Railway to Japan, from fashion to film. He has photographed the legendary Coco Chanel at work, and the stars of over one hundred motion pictures. From The Sound of Music to Titanic and The Great Gatsby, Kirkland’s lens has explored the universe of fame. His work ranges from exquisite nudes to powerful portraits of the notable and the notorious, from photo-journalism to the catwalk. Douglas Kirkland’s fine arts photography has been exhibited all over the world. His exhibition of Freeze Frame is now in the permanent collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. His work is also in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra Australia, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Eastman House in Rochester and the Houston Center for Photography and the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
Thierry Le Gouès
French artist, Thierry Le Goues appears to be more of a sculptor than a photographer. His photographs of female nudes seem to depict figures more chiseled from stone than made of flesh and blood. Some images echo the streamlined, abstract human forms of sculptor Constantin Brancusi. In other shots, the stark contrast of light on the models’ dark skin makes them appear like graceful, futuristic automatons. Le Goues, a fashion photographer by trade, began taking and collecting the photos for his book in order to expose the beauty of black women, whom he feels are underrepresented in the world of high-fashion modeling. Of the finished collection, he says: “Soul is an homage to my medium, to the models who are my inspiration.” To create his inimitable signature portraits, Le Goues covers his models- women such as Naomi Campbell and Iman – in greasepaint and poses them against stark, vacant backgrounds to heighten the sculptural elements of their forms. The resulting photographs are sensual, stirring, and beautiful works of art.
Philippe Le Tellier
Philippe Le Tellier was dedicated to one of the movies most emblematic couples: Alain Delon and Romy Schneider. From intimate scenes to the big screen, the photos retrace their love story in black and white, and in colour. Originally meeting in 1958 and quickly falling into a romantic whirlwind before separating in 1964, the actors met again for the film “La Piscine”, of Jacques Deray in 1969. Complex, passionate and dizzying, the mystery surrounding their relationship captivated the viewers and became a symbol of the French cinema.
Greg Lotus is an American fashion photographer who shot for several fashion magazines. But he also carried out advertising campaigns for major brands such as Cartier, Levi’s, Van Cleef & Arpels and shoots for major names such as Penelope Cruz, Milla Jovovich, Isabelle Adjani and many others. He started his career as a photographer at the age of 20. Unlike other photographers, he has managed to make his place in the world without professional training, without assisting other photographers: Greg Lotus is a self-taught photographer. If he succeeds so well in capturing his models, it is because he himself was able to find himself in front of the camera as a model during his adolescence. Today, he still produces magazine covers and advertising campaigns. He is now looking for a more artistic photography to be exhibited in galleries, especially outside the United States. In his interview for Preview, he says “Art gives me the freedom to share images I love that have never been selected for editorial purposes and that have only been taken for my personal pleasure.”
Peggy Mella is a French Italian photographer. After studying and working in photography post production she started developing her own photographic concept. For over 10 years Peggy Mella has been modeling her universe of images and compositions, creating a modern and free spirited collection. Laureate, 2015, of the French American Art show. Her work is represented in galleries in Miami, New York and Paris and is exhibited in many vibrant towns around the world. Peggy Mella’s photography elegantly dresses up the walls of several private home. By using a bold and contemporary technique, Peggy Mella selects and re-appropriates her own photographs by weaving photographic details from daily perception. In constant search of beauty, she uses her intuitive creativity to combine materials, colours, and volumes, incorporating strength and fragility, solidity and lightness, seduction and sensuality, as to infuse her composite images with a new meaning.
German born, Andre Rau is widely acknowledged as one of the most creative fashion and beauty photographers in the world. His stunning imagery covers a variety of subject matters, but Rau is particularly well known for his insightful and powerful portraits of celebrities admired by international collectors, curators, and critics. Rau has shot many memorable covers for the leading fashion magazines as well as for album covers. He has also served as the official Cannes Film Festival photographer for several years. Andre Rau’s work is regularly exhibited throughout the world, and his photographs are in the collection of the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, the Centre National de la Photographie in France, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Applied Art in Cologne, Germany, the Miramax Film Corporation in New York, and other important museums.
Philippe Robert is a French photographer who graduated from the Institute des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques in France. Once graduated, he went to Los Angeles. He started his career as a photographer for SPIN magazine then confirmed his talent with numerous magazines such as: L.A Weekly, Interview Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Time Magazine, Elle, Match, Art Magazine, Glamour… He is used to work with the most successful brands in the world and the biggest Top Models like Linda Evangelista, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, (French-First Lady)… He described this period like the beginning of an Era, the Supermodel Era, when they branded themselves as household names and worldwide recognition is associated with their modeling careers. He also worked on a successful photography project with the “Opera National de Paris” where he shot the prima ballerina (“Les Etoiles de Paris”). It was the first time, the Opera allowed a photographer to shoot their Stars in a studio. His work was internationally exposed through: the Photo Fashion Festival at Le Louvre Museum in Paris, Picasso Museum exhibition, Film Festival-NYPD-New-York, Festival de la Photo de Mode, Hotel de Paris, Monte-Carlo, Art Photo Expo Gallery, Paris, Miami and New York. His photographs are also in some of the world’s most acclaimed private collections.
Bertram Stern, also known as Bert Stein is a Fashion photographer and specialist in celebrities’ portraits. He is world renowned for the serie “Last Sitting” : a collection of 2,500 photographies of Marilyn Monroe over a period of three days, six weeks before she died, in 1962, given to Vogue Magazine. Stern published Marilyn Monroe: “The Complete Last Sitting in 1992”. He has also conducted “Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959)” : a documentary film on the jazz festival in Newport in 1958. In 1999, the film has been selected by the Library of Congress of the United States to be retained by the National Film Registry. Stern has also worked as a photographer for Lolita Stanley Kubrick, and took photographies of Sue Lyon for the displays of the film which became famous. He also photographed Audrey Hepburn for an issue of 1963 of Vogue Paris, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan (recreating The Last Sitting), among others, in addition to his work for advertising.
Russell Young initially made his name in the 1980s as a music photographer. Having learnt his craft as an assistant to photographer Christos Raftopoulos, he forged his own identity by capturing live club shows featuring bands such as Bauhaus, REM and The Smiths. This led to multiple magazine commissions and commissions from record companies.In 1986 he shot the sleeve imagery for George Michael’s iconic album ‘Faith’ which went on to sell over 25 million copies. This led to more high profile portrait work with musicians ranging from Morrissey and Björk to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, including a variety of sports stars and celebrities. Moreover, he went on to direct over 100 music videos for MTV.In 1992 he moved to America and began to develop his talents as a fine artist. Having endured a traumatic childhood in the North of England, he married actress Fiona Hughes and began a new life in the States. Young’s artistic output embraces painting, screen printing, sculpture, installations and film. Most important to him are the titles, the crops, and the progression from darkness to light.His work has been shown in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. They are also in some of the worlds most acclaimed private collections .
Art Photo Expo presents
Femmes je vous aime
from 24 February to the end of April 2019
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
25 Avenue Montaigne
75008 Paris, France