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Le Petit Palais in Paris Shows Images and Fashion by Patrick Demarchelier
Christy Turlington, British Vogue, New York, February 1992

PARIS.- Le Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, presents a comprehensive selection of 400 photographs by Patrick Demarchelier.

Petit Palais aesthetic philosophy combines three fundamental concepts: the aesthetic and intellectual experience, and the creative process. The latter creates a resonance between France’s traditional and contemporary art stimulating an exchange between both the artist and the public.

Each fall, Le Petit Palais hosts within its permanent collection, works by contempory artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers and video-artists) in order to advance its philosophy.

The art of photography, considered until recently a lesser art, has finally been recognized as a fine art. Photography exhibitions are increasingly popular around the world. This holds even more truth in the world of fashion where the image is essential. France, a source of many talents, benefits from a unique aura in this craft.

Patrick Demarchelier’s style and talent has elevated his name to the pantheon of the great photographers. An autodidact, he became one of the most talented photographers in the world of fashion and beauty.

The « Demarchelier touch » is an absolute reference among the legends of the fashion world. On the 4th of July, 2007, the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) presented him with the « Eleanor Lambert Award » to honor his esteemed career and « his unique contribution to the world of fashion ».

Patrick Demarchelier loves spontaneity. It’s at the beginning or end of a photo shoot that he unveils the subjects’ natural essence.

A state of mind that he pursues to capture. The « Demarchelier touch » is spontaneity and positive vision projected upon his subject.

Under the umbrella of diversity and contrast, this exhibition travels through several decades of inspiration where portraits of celebrities hang side-by- side with portraits of unknown muses…

Patrick Demarchelier’s artistic approach for a photo shoot is identical whether it’s with a celebrity or a fashion model.

He seeks to unveil the sublime natural essence of his subject and reveal their inner optimism.

Robert de Niro, Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Gianni Versace, Warren Beatty, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Laura Bush, Président Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, etc..

All the above have posed for Patrick Demarchelier.

Invited by the Princess Diana in 1989, he agrees to photograph her with a hair stylist and make-up artist. As a result of this first encounter, she asked him to become her official photographer.

He, therefore, became the first non-British official photographer of the Royal family.

Beyond his privileged status, he was a dear friend of Lady Diana until her tragic death.

Patrick Demarchelier was born near Paris in 1943 to a modest family.

He spent his childhood in Le Havre with his mother and four brothers. For his
seventeenth birthday, his stepfather bought him his first « Kodak » camera.

He quickly became a natural behind the camera. Then he learned how to develop film, retouch negatives, began shooting friends and weddings…

He started working in a dark-room for a young women’s finishing school where he put together portfolios for the students. There, he perfected his technique, sharpened his eye and began to develop his personal « style ».

He discovered fashion photography by working as a free-lance photographer.

His work drew the attention of Elle, Marie-Claire, 20 ans Magazine in France, Italy and in Germany.

In 1975, he left France for New York without speaking a single word of English with the intention to follow his girlfriend – who left him before he even arrived – this trip would launch him on his journey to become one of the greatest fashion photographers.

He learned English on the street and by watching TV. He began his international career working for Glamour and Mademoiselle Magazines.

He later worked for Vogue magazine and Harper’s Bazaar (Hearst Publications) in September 1992 which resulted in a 12-year collaboration. Demarchelier’s work rapidly became recognized by key players in the fashion industry and he was quickly solicited to shoot prestigious international advertising campaigns.

Dior, Louis Vuitton, Céline, Tag Heuer, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste Lancôme, Guerlain, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferre, Anne Klein, Valentino, Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Donna Karan, Michael Kors...

In 2004, he embarked upon a new exclusive relationship with Condé Nast publications (Glamour, Mademoiselle, Vogue etc) where he continues to grace hundreds of covers with his photographs.

On November 23rd, 2007, Mrs Christine ALBANEL, Minister of Culture, honored Patrick Demarchelier as an Officier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres on the 50th anniversary of this most prestigious award that is only bestowed upon great artists.

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