Ron Galella; Paparazzo Extraordinaire!

Dinner Following Performance of "Goose and Tomtom"

August 29, 1986 New York
Sean Penn at the Columbus Café
after a performance of Goose & Tom Tom

Intriguing insight into a time when celebrities were celebrities…

Whilst studying photojournalism in LA, a young Ron Galella took photographs of celebrities arriving at film premieres – selling them to the National Enquirer and Fotoplay. Seems it became a bit of an obsession, Galella went on to become the most infamous paparazzo of them all; being dubbed “the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture” by Time Magazine.

The Bronx-born son of an Italian immigrant, Galella had his jaw broken by Brando, and was forced to promise Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis not to take another picture of her again as long as he lived – however has remained more popular with magazines, book publishers and galleries; MoMA and Tate Modern being just some of the galleries to exhibit his work. Warhol too was a big fan.

His monograph, Paparazzo Extraordinaire! – published by German publisher Hatje Cantz – is a beautifully presented window into a world where celebrities were celebrities – Sinatra, Jackson, Bardot, Allen, Dali, Jagger, Taylor, Lennon. Gilt edged and open spined, it looks as glamourous as Galella’s subjects within. This is a world of paparazzi thankfully devoid of TOWIE or the Kardashians, this is a Hollywood where the stars were the stars – not the special effects. Utterly fascinating.

Ron Galella; Paparazzo Extraordinaire!

January 16, 1983 Los Angeles, CA
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall attending
an opening luncheon at Mizuno Gallery

Ron Galella; Paparazzo Extraordinaire!

Andy Warhol at the 1985 Annual Council of
Fashion Designers of America Awards Dinner
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ron Galella; Paparazzo Extraordinaire!

June 1, 1978 New York
Greta Garbo near East 52 Street

Ron Galella; Paparazzo Extraordinaire!

February 28, 1984 . Los Angeles. California
Brooke Shields, Michael Jackson, and Emmanuel Lewis attend the
26th Annual Grammy Awards at Shrine Auditorium

Ron Galella; Paparazzo Extraordinaire!

October 15, 1970, New York
Jackie Onassis departs Bonwit Teller Department Store


Sean Penn and Madonna Image courtesy of Ron Galella, Ltd.

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