From June 8 to July 21, 2023, the Galerie GADCOLLECTION is devoting an exhibition to one of the masters of photography: Douglas KIRKLAND.
Through a selection of 18 photographs, some of which have never been shown, the exhibition Brigitte Bardot: ‘Doug, my Darling …’ is a tribute to one of the greatest actresses who crossed the life of this exceptional photographer.
“I have a philosophy. I do not want to make negative pictures about people, and so I do everything I can to help make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. That is what is going to control your picture, because you are alone if your subject is not with you. And that’s the simple answer to getting a good picture.” – Douglas KIRKLAND
Douglas KIRKLAND discovers photography in contact with his parents, both passionate. As a child, he escaped through the images of Life magazine and sharpened his gaze by browsing the clichés that populate its pages. He tirelessly flips through the weekly, dreaming of one day working for this prestigious publication.
At 10 years old, he eagerly captures the world around him. His relatives and family serve as role models. He started working at 14, taking photos at parties or making portraits of children. A 21-year-old newlywed, he moved to Richmond where he worked in a commercial studio. Fascinated by the work of Irving PENN, he then asked the photographer to become his assistant. In 1957, at the age of 23, he moved to a stone’s throw from New York and shared the daily life of his mentor. In contact with PENN, Douglas KIRKLAND learns quickly and discovers the many facets of the profession. At the end of this rich experience, he joined the team of Look magazine and soon made his way into the world of the 7th Art and fashion. From photo studios to film sets, Douglas KIRKLAND will become the eye that the world of stars covets.
Just hired at Look, Douglas KIRKLAND meets Elizabeth TAYLOR during an interview. The violet-eyed actress, following pneumonia, has not appeared in the press for a long time and refuses any photo. Touched by the youth and the charm of the photographer, she nevertheless lets herself be convinced for a shooting session. The resulting images are remarkable and then propel KIRKLAND’s career. We are in 1961. From this date the photographer will not stop capturing the stars.
The same year, he left for a month on the road with Judy GARLAND. One of her most powerful portraits, Shedding Tear, was born out of her foray into the actress’ private life. A raw image, with a sad and tragic atmosphere, which exerts a particular fascination on whoever contemplates it. But the consecration comes one afternoon in autumn 1961. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Look magazine, Douglas KIRKLAND is entrusted with the task of photographing Marilyn MONROE. On November 17, 1961, the photographer met the Hollywood star during a photo session shrouded in delicacy. Beauty, languid in a bed, floats,
vaporous and angelic, in sheets of white silk. Time seems suspended. All the sensuality that emanates from this woman is channeled into the lens of Douglas KIRKLAND. The man then captures the most graceful images of this screen goddess ever and fixes her beauty for eternity. The following year, during the summer of 1962, he followed another icon, that of fashion, Coco Chanel.
Douglas KIRKLAND’s talent has made him very popular and Hollywood studios ask him to document film shoots. During his career, he went to the sets of more than a hundred feature films. From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Butch Cassidy and the Kid, Out of Africa, How to Steal a Million Dollars, or even Titanic and Moulin Rouge.
Douglas KIRKLAND reveals off-camera moments and immortalizes behind the scenes of the 7th Art. He captures in turn a decisive moment, a spectacular detail, steals an emotion.
In front of his lens, the stars but also the cameramen, the make-up artists, the costume designers become the protagonists of the history of cinema told by Douglas KIRKLAND.
Douglas Kirkland : Brigitte Bardot : ‘Doug my Darling …’
From June 8 to July 21, 2023
4 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe