Everybody knows and loves the photography from Terry O’Neill Rare & Unseen – even if they perhaps do not always realise it. A classic image of Bridget Bardot with hair blowing across her eyes; an unperturbed David Bowie losing the limelight to a rearing Great Dane; a morning-after shot of Faye Dunaway lounging by a Hollywood pool with her Oscar statuette. These are all of course by Terry O’Neill.
Now, for the first time in Terry O’Neill Rare & Unseen – A Portfolio of Vintage Prints, O’Neill selects a range from his huge archive. This remarkable book collects hundreds of these rare images, accompanied by quotes from many of the subjects. These include Kate Moss, Keith Richards, Elton John, Raquel Welch, Gary Kemp and many more.
For the next 50 years he led the field in portrait photography. Anybody who was anybody inevitably ended up infront of O’Neill’s lens: The Queen, Nelson Mandela, Elton John, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Brigitte Bardot – think of a name and O’Neill will have taken their portrait.
He says: “I just try to take pictures that tell a story – perhaps in a candid and unconventional way. I think you can either see a picture or you can’t. I just capture the moment as it is.”
At the dawn of the 1960s, physical prints were the norm. O’Neill kept as many as he could. “I just kept everything,” he says. “I don’t know why. Back then, there wasn’t really a reason to keep them. Photos were used straight away and then I just moved on to the next assignment. No one was thinking these would be of interest to the collectors down the line, let alone fifty years later.”
Terry O’Neill: Rare & Unseen is a very special insight in to the contents of this remarkable archive. A very generous 240 pages – generously sized too – allows plenty of space to show some wonderful unseen images alongside less perfect shots, including contact sheets that provide insight in to his working methods and relationships with his subjects.
Images are typically presented using just the right side of double page spreads so there is lots of space for the images to breathe. The 32cm square pages are also ideal for photographs from O’Neill’s favoured medium format: Hasselblad 500CM. Published by Iconic Images and, regular collaborators, ACC Art Books the quality of presentation and production is exemplary as usual.
To purchase visit Terry O’Neill: Rare & Unseen – A Portfolio of Vintage Prints
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