Ron Galella: New Yorkby Ron Galella
The paparazzi photography of Ron Galella has been the subject of several monographs, but this is the first volume to focus on the city with which his work is most identifiedNew York, in the 1970s and 80s. The book contains many unpublished images from Galella’s archives of iconic celebrities of the day, such as Bianca Jagger, Madonna, Grace Jones,
The paparazzi photography of Ron Galella has been the subject of several monographs, but this is the first volume to focus on the city with which his work is most identifiedNew York, in the 1970s and 80s. The book contains many unpublished images from Galella’s archives of iconic celebrities of the day, such as Bianca Jagger, Madonna, Grace Jones, Halston and Al Pacinoout and about on the streets, at JFK airport or in hotel lobbies, enjoying the nightlife and theater culture of a grittier New York City. Journalist William Van Meter interviews Galella about specific images, providing captions that reveal previously untold anecdotes about Galella’s most legendary photographs.
Ron Galella (born 1931) is widely regarded as the most famous and most controversial celebrity photographer in the world. He has been dubbed "Paparazzo Extraordinaire" by Newsweek, and "the godfather of US paparazzi culture" by Time and Vanity Fair. Galella has endured two highly publicized court battles with Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, a broken jaw at the hands of Marlon Brando and a serious beating by Richard Burton’s bodyguards. His work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the world. The Museum of Modern Art New York and San Francisco, the Tate Modern in London and the Helmut Newton Foundation Museum of Photography in Berlin, among many others, all maintain collections of Galella’s photography. A native New Yorker now residing in Montville, New Jersey, Galella served as a United States Air Force photographer during the Korean conflict before attending the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, where he earned a degree in Photojournalism.
Galella was speaking from the home he’s shared with his wife Betty for more than two decades. It is covered top to bottom in pictures a Jackie over the fireplace, a Liz by the staircase, an Andy Warhol etched onto the back of a chair and fistfuls of porcelain rabbits his and Betty’s favorite animal. Boxes of film are scattered all over the place “Mick Jagger Alone,” “Elvis Presley with others.” The negatives of his most famous pictures “Windblown Jackie” and a shot of Galella in a football helmet trailing Marlon Brando are also here, stored away in a safe.
He’s on a couch, with all his books displayed in front of him, flipping through the pages of “New York,” the new book from Damiani and Row NYC that features images extending from 1968 to 1992, all the way from Warhol’s prime to his memorial service luncheon.
There’s Warhol and Keith Haring at Tunnel in 1986. “Andy liked me a lot, I think, because we liked the same celebrities and because I had the chutzpah and he was shy and he didn’t get the pictures I got,” he says. “We had the same social disease. We want to be everywhere and we want to cover everything.”
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