A flash of art: action photography in Rome 1953-1973

Front Cover
Photology, 2004 - Photography - 333 pages
The setting: Rome, Italy. The era: the 1950s to the 1970s. The subject: everyone who was anyone in the international jet-set. The theme: hedonism, glamour and paparazzi. It was a time when to be snapped in fashionable Italy, to be a pin-up and to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the paparazzi were the main objectives for a certain crowd. If today the term "paparazzi" carries associations of scandal-mongering, voyeurism and right-to-privacy issues, "A Flash of Art" harkens back to the golden age of a once glamorous trade, when things were more black and white, as it were. Photographs by 22 Italian paparazzi, including Tazio Secchiaroli, Lino Nanni, Elio Sorci, Mario Fabbri and Marcello Geppetti, recall a Felliniesque era. There are a few harbingers of the time to come: pictures of celebrities caught in compromising and/or embarrassing situations. One set of images depicts a riled Anita Ekberg threatening another photographer with a bow and arrow as he tries to catch her arriving home after a night out; another shows Jane Mansfield lying in the street having been accosted by "ballerina" Alma del Rio. But the posed portraits of Hollywood icons Brigitte Bardot and Omar Sharif, the endless shots of gorgeous ladies in sparkly gowns, vamping for the camera, and the dapper men in dark suits and darker glasses are the real showstoppers.

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