(Out of Print)
Ron’s second book, published in 1976, highlights the thousands of celebrities he captured during his first decade of shooting, the first of what would become many books documenting the progression of Galella’s prolific career.
Gathered for the first time are many of Galella’s photographs during his “golden years” the 60’s & 70’s. Many of these photos would later become iconic images, reproduced countless times around the world.
Peppered throughout this volume are beautiful candid portraits which would become his signature work, creating some of pop culture’s most recognized images.
The megastars of Hollywood’s Golden era are represented: Fred Astaire, Bette Davis Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra Jimmy Stewart, Sidney Poitier, John Wayne, Doris Day, Greta Garbo, Marlena Dietrich, Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, Grace Kelly with Alfred Hitchcock, Sophia Loren, and the “new” generation, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson Warren Beatty, Woody Allen, Barbara Streisand, John Lennon, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and hundreds more.
The book includes an introduction by Bruce Jay Friedman, the popular playwright, author, novelist, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, (Splash) playwright, and actor.
“Artful and admiring, starstruck and satirical, Ron Galella‘s book reveals the stars in the natural and spontaneous moods that only “paparazzo” photojournalism can capture,” Friedman writes.
Accompanied by informative and often witty captions. Always exciting, and sometimes poignant, photos include a nine-year-old Tatum O’Neal comforting her weeping father Ryan after the Academy Awards.
Many of the images contained in this book would later become fine-art images found in collections and museums around the world.
“Galella’s pictures seem always to add to their subjects, rarely to diminish.” Bruce Jay Friedman writes.
Publisher: McGraw-Hill 192 pages
The book was reprinted in 1983 by Greenwich House and distributed by Crown Publishers by arrangement with McGraw-Hill under the title: Off-guard, Beautiful People Unveiled Before the Camera Lens by Ron Galella.
(Out of Print)
“Jacqueline is the most beautiful book ever published about the world’s most glamorous woman,” the book description exclaims.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Ron Galella’s first book is devoted to one of his most photographed subjects, Jackie Kennedy.
Published just five years into his full-time celebrity photographer career, the images represent the best of the many photographs taken over several years in the late 60’s early 70’s of then, Mrs. Onassis.
The book contains hundreds of photographs of the former First Lady and her family doing normal things – picnicking, building snowmen in Central Park, playing tennis, shopping and vacationing.
Ron recounts the various lengths and obstacles he faced in pursuing his subjects, including his traveling across Europe to the Greek islands., sharing methods, often humorous, needed to capture these intimate images.
“You need some basic disguises for some situations so celebrities don’t always recognize you. I have my sunglasses, pipe, hippie wig, salt and pepper wig, Afro wig and several mustaches,” Galella writes.
For five years beginning in 1969, Jackie rented a seven-room, grey clapboard house on an estate in Peapack-Gladstone, N.J., 37 miles from Manhattan, a country get away that her and her two children would utilize on the weekends including time quietly observing the anniversary of her husband‘s assassination.
Ron made several trips out to the refuge and the touching photos of John-John’s participating in a local school’s annual horse benefit show are a highlight.
“It was the only completely pleasant afternoon I ever spent photographing Jackie,” he writes.
Apparently, Galella wasn’t the only outsider in the leafy town. He recounts that one evening after dinner in town, Jackie’s husband, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis was picked up by the local police in Peapack and questioned at the station house after he was observed having the audacity to walk around and apparently looked out-of-place strolling in the small town (He was released after Secret Service vouched for him).
The book’s publication comes months after his much-publicized initial court case and contains musings regarding his legal battle.
Anecdotes include his legal teams’ unsuccessful efforts to serve a subpoena on a fellow photographer to secure a witness for Galella’s defense at the 1972 Godfather premiere.
The photos are supplemented with Galella‘s own story of how and why he had become so compelled to photograph Jacqueline as well as his own biographical history of how he got into the business.
The last image in Jacqueline shows Aristotle Onassis and Jackie in front of the famed NYC French eatery, La Côte Basque.
Despite the star wattage of the main subjects our eyes are also drawn to the left side of the frame. Interestingly we see Ron with a large grin on his face causally standing off in the corner in the background, camera dangling from his neck, hands in pockets, uncharacteristically observing the action not photographing it. (Certainly, his facial expression is not related to his stylish plaid jacket, and wide striped tie he is wearing!)
Ron’s presence in the photo is not mentioned in the caption. The reader is expected to notice him. And we do.
The caption reads, “ I don’t photograph Jackie anymore I leave that now to other paparazzi.”
He later abandoned that position, a decision that would find him embroiled in yet another legal battle with her less than a decade later (His later photos of her through 1981 would later be included in his 2013, 400-page, gilded tome, Jackie: My Obsession).
The striking photo outside La Côte Basque was taken on January 1, 1973 by Sasa Wargacki, wife of photographer Tom Wargacki, a friend and colleague of Ron’s. The image was used as the opening image in the August 2022 Esquire Magazine article, “La Cote Basque, 1965,” by Truman Capote from his unfinished novel Answered Prayers. The article was originally excerpted in the magazine in 1975.
Ron’s attention and tactics hardly endeared him to Ms. Onassis, however the work published in Jacqueline and viewed now in historical context, provide an important document of one of the world’s most famous families and enduring historical figures in American culture during that period.
“….people will be shocked by the beauty and dignity of the photos in the book,” the book description opines, perhaps anticipating the public’s reaction so soon after the legal trial.
Some did not like his methods, but the results speak for themselves.
“Ironically, the very photographs that Mrs. Onassis resisted were the ones that defined her as an icon,” top fashion designer Tom Ford wrote in 2002 in the Introduction of, The Photographs of Ron Gallela. (Greybull Press).
“Much of what we came to love about Jackie we discovered through Gallela‘s candid images. 30 years later, they continue to have a mystique that no formal studio portrait can match,” Ford says.
Publisher: Sheed and Ward, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers: 200 pages
“I, like millions of others, often lived vicariously through his pictures. Scandal, romance, personality, and adventure always leapt from the surface of his portraits,” famed fashion designer Tom Ford writes in the book’s introduction.
“They are raw, real, and tell us more about each subject than he or she might have liked,” Ford says while also acknowledging being influenced by Galella’s photographs throughout the designer’s career.
Ron Galella has been called every name in the book, the tome’s description reads.
In 1955, fresh out of the United States Air Force, he became a paparazzo–and redefined the genre. From his notoriously obsessive treatment of Jackie Onassis and the subsequent legal battles associated with it, to his alarmingly beautiful photographs of celebrities in the 60s and 70s, Galella has always been in a category of his own.
Possessed of a unique talent to catch stars at moments when they seemed most alive, most human, most stylish, Galella was able to do something no other celebrity watcher was able to do: become a star himself. Featuring images of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Ali McGraw, Farrah Fawcett, Robert Redford, Raquel Welch, Mick Jagger and many, many more of the rich, famous and hounded.
“Every person featured in this book had a relationship with Ron Galella,” actress Diane Keaton writes in the book’s forward.
“Some denied it. Some flight it, like Sean Penn or Sam Shepard, others, like Burt Reynolds and Liza took their cues from the master. While others embraced it, “ she notes.
“I am glad to be among the Dean’s cavalier of celebrities, not just for the recognition value, which I can’t deny once pursued with a relish I am ashamed of, but also because of the education he’s given me. Ron Gallela‘s photographs are devoid place, but enriched by the character of fame. Fame, that hollow calling to many, encountered counted by few. Ron Gallela has given us the true landscape of celebrity in the faces of the eminently watchable, not so mysterious, victims of narcissus’s kiss,” Mrs. Keaton writes.
Printed in Germany, this large coffee table book (9.75 x 0.75 x 13.5 inches) weighs in at over four pounds and printed on heavy gloss stock.
Edited by Steve Bluttal.
Publisher: Greybull Press 248 pages
Usage & Licensing Ron’s body of work is currently made available for research and editorial use through Getty Images and their website; authorized representatives are available via phone at +1 (646) 613 4000, OR +1 (800) 462-4379. Bob Dylan Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro Windblown Jackie ANN-MARGRET Roman Polanski & Sharon Tate Premiere Party for “Dr. …
Ron Galella, 91, Laid To Rest By Geoffrey Croft It was a service fit for a celebrity. Pioneer photojournalist Ron Galella was laid to rest on Thursday, May 5th and he planned exactly how he wanted to go out. So it was only fitting that he picked Frank E. Campbell known as, “The Funeral home to the stars.” Family, friends, …
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