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Exhibition by Ron Galella, The Most Controversial Paparazzo of the 20th Century, Opens
US photographer Ron Galella poses for the media next to a self-portrait during the inauguration of an exhibition about his work on the occasion of PhotoEspana 2011 Festival, in Madrid, central Spain. The festival will consist of 70 exhibitions of 370 artists and creators, from 55 countries. Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Ron Galella, Alfredo Jaar, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dayanita Singh, Kan Xuan, and Nancy Burson are among the participating artists. The festival runs from 01 until 24 July. EPA/MONDELO.

MADRID.- PHotoEspaña and Loewe organize Paparazzo Extraordinaire!, a retrospective exhibition with over 100 photographs of the paparazzo most famous and controversial of the twentieth century.

Ron Galella did not invent the word paparazzo, but he did personalize it, redefining the relationship between the film star and photographer. For over 30 years, he photographed public figures in private moments, which led to his being sued by Jackie Kennedy and threatened by Marlon Brando. Today he is the most famous and polemical photographer of celebrities in the world, and his photos have been published in hundreds of magazines such as Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, People, Rolling Stones, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Life.

Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Cary Grant, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Paul Newman, and Mick Jagger are just some of the stars Galella has photographed. The exposition, which the Loewe Museum and the Círculo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum of Madrid) are simultaneously hosting, brings together 109 photographs in color and black and white that make up a visual diary of fame, wealth, and success in the United States.The exhibition will be open from 2nd June to 17th July 2011.

Like all good paparazzo, Ron Galella, who is a leading player in this media-hungry world, reproduces it while at the same time deconstructing its painstaking glamour: he catches the stars looking like normal people, disrupting the time, space and perfection of their carefully-groomed images. Galella reveals to us the normality of what is considered exceptional. His photos have a certain human appeal because they are the result of a face-to-face encounter. Galella doesn’t even look through the camera. “Portraits are person to person, you want to capture the meeting of person to person, the reaction, and see, not through the lens. Through the lens you don’t see the expressions of a face” , Galella says.

Ron Galella (New York, 1931) served his country as an Air Force photographer during the Korean War. In 1958, he graduated from the Art Center College of Design (in Los Angeles, California) with a degree in photojournalism. His photographs have been shown in museums and galleries all over the world, including the MoMa in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern in London, and the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin. In 2010 Leon Gast directed a documentary film dedicated to Galella called Smash his Camera, which will also be presented at the showing.

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