7th Feb – 23rd March 2013
“Ninety nine percent of my contemporaries kept on reporting about the miseries and worries of the world after the war – but hell, someone had to do the other stuff. Besides, after the war, the only beaches I wanted to see had girls on them.”
Ever the maverick, these are the words of remarkable twentieth century photographer, Slim Aarons. Having bore witness to the grim reality of combat for Yank Magazine, the all-American Aarons made no apologies for his post-war commitment to la dolce vita. Closely aligned with Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Aarons declined to join them in the founding of Magnum, leaving behind the world of black and white for sun-dazed glamour and frivolity. His intimate portrayals of the in crowd and jet set are rich in the wit and charisma that afforded Aarons such incomparable access to the highest of societies.
The keen observational eye Slim developed on the front line, he now cast over the American aristocracy and celebrities of Hollywood, photographing against a backdrop of stunning palazzos, private villas and wealthy estates. Natural light infuses his work which, together with his compositional judgement, has directly influenced many a fashion shoot since.
Getty Images Gallery is proud to represent Aarons’ vast collection of negatives and transparencies, which span six decades of a lifestyle many dream of but few experience. Held at the Getty Images Hulton Archive, expert darkroom work on the originals allows us to print his images up to the largest photographic sizes, inviting us to step into these dazzling images of the good life.