This is one of the best books of portraits that it has been my pleasure to view.
Before going further, let me observe that the book contains much female nudity that would earn an "R" rating if this were a motion picture.
Glenn O'Brien in the book's introduction captures the essence of the book well, "The beauty standard is being raised once again."
Whether the subjects are beautiful (and many are) or not, the result is the same -- a deep look into the personality and character of the model done in large, vivid detail in wonderfully contrasting duotone. One of the best tests for this book is to compare the celebrity images you see here with others you have seen of these same people. These images are more warm, more revealing, and more fun to see. Mr. Demarchelier has a light touch that gets out the happiest version of a person. You'll find yourself laughing and smiling your way through this collection, for sure.
The portraits displayed here are uniformly of very high quality, and provide nice contrasts of subjects (nose rings, boulders, children, and elephants among the beautiful people).
Here are some of my many favorites:
Nude, St. Barthelemy, 1994
Nude, St. Barthelemy, 1989
Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales, London, 1993
Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and their daughter, Los Angeles, 1994
Versailles gardens, Versailles, France, 1994
Gianni Versace, Paris, 1992
Nude, New York, 1995
Corbassiere, Paris, 1994
Helena Christensen, New York, 1992 (second image)
Cindy Crawford, Leh, India, 1989
Jasper Johns and Leo Castelli, New York, 1993
Roy Lichtenstein, New York, 1993
Naomi Campbell, New York, 1990
Isabella Rosselini, New York, 1994
Robin Williams (4), New York, 1990
Robert De Niro, New York, 1990
Sisters, St. Barthelemy, 1991
Christy Turlington, New York, 1990
Alice Dodd, New York, 1994
Natasha Kinski, New York, 1993
Warren Beatty from "Dick Tracy," Los Angeles, 1989
Elton John, Paris, 1992
Janet Jackson, Miami, Florida, 1993
Arthur Demarchelier, New York, 1991
Patrick and Mia Demarchelier and their three sons, New York, 1987
Meg Ryan, New York, 1994
Claudia Schiffer, St. Barthelemy, 1991
Paul Newman, Beacon, New York, 1994
Elle Macpherson, New York, 1990
Cindy Crawford, New York, 1990
After you look closely at these images, notice how lines and flaws provide balance and perspective in the same way that perfect figures provide proportion. How can you create more waves of enjoyable symmetry?
Drink deeply from the bubbling joy of humanity!
am 26. Januar 2000
With this wonderful depiction of form and expression, Demarchelier shows his mastery of presenting the face, the body, and the mood through an incredible feel for lighting and contrast. His adeptness at capturing the nude female form brings out incredible beauty without the slightest hint of pornography.
What you get: 82 black-and-white photographic plates, most of which are formatted to fill the entire page. With a few exceptions, all were taken from the late-80s to the mid-90s, and about half were taken from fashion magazines or designer ads. Most are of people, the majority of whom are recognizable (to me) celebrities. About one-forth feature the nude or semi-nude female body. For good measure, a couple pictues featuring members of the Demarchelier family are also included. All photographs are presented "stand-alone," with no notes or credits; however, this information is clearly referenced at the back of the book.
What you see: a straightforwardness of subject matter. Where other photographers might dazzle by snaring a moment in time from an event (e.g., Robert Doisneau), Demarchelier presents his subjects with no mystery as to what the viewer is to behold: the intricacies of the baobab branches in contrast to its massive trunk; the variations in lighting between two figures, one illuminated, one silhouetted, seated in front of a window; or the calm, confident gaze of Christy Turlington wearing only a tangle of wet hair, and a sheet around her hips. The side-by-side photos of Helena Christensen are perhaps the best of her ever, as may be the one of Turlington. Not to forget the face: the shots of Versace, César, Corbassière and Nastassja Kinski are absolute gems. I'm having a hard time puting this book down, and I'd love to know who that is hanging from the tree on the front cover.
am 23. Dezember 1999
I'm floored that this book is not more popular! It clearly is not getting enough exposure, as it is currently one of the best photo books available today.
Although Patrick Demarchelier is known as a fashion photographer, most of the images of top models and celebrities in this book are really portaits, many of them nudes. These photos are masterpeices of B&W portaiture. Among the great photographers who have published photo books, there are less than 5 I know that are in Demarchelier's league.
There are so many great images in this book. The nudes of Helena Christensen and Cindy Crawford are especially superb. Incidentally, contact sheets from the nudes of Cindy Crawford were recently expositioned by DeMarchelier.
If you appriciate great black and white photography, you will probably love this book.
If you are interested in looking at photos of celebrities, you will probably love this book.
If you are offended by nudity, even artistic nudes, you should probably avoid this book.