Introducing the Slim Aarons Collection
Posted on September 21 2015
Welcome to the glamorous world of Slim Aarons
Slim Aarons served as a photographer for the US military magazine Yank during World War two. Unsurprisingly, he ended his service with a deep distaste for war. From then on, his mission, as he famously stated, was to photograph "attractive people who were doing attractive things in attractive places." He then went on to travel the world, taking pictures of the rich and famous, working for society publications including Holiday, Town and Country, Venture and LIFE.
(Guests at the Villa Nirvana, owned by Oscar Obregon, in Las Brisas, Acapulco, Mexico, February 1972)
Aarons moved to California soon after the war and that's where he shot his most praised photo, 'Kings of Hollywood,' a 1957 New Year's Eve photograph depicting Van Heflin, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and James Stewart relaxing at a bar in full formal wear.
He deliberately shunned the documentary style of gritty black and white photography in favour for rich, sumptuous Kodacolour to complement the rich, sumptuous colourful lives of high end American and European socialites. Although he never used a stylist or make up artist, he was known for the positive portrayals he gave to people he photographed, and for that reason alone, he was invited to a number of high-society gatherings all over the world.
(A desert house designed by Richard Neutra for Edgar J. Kaufmann, Palm Springs, California, January 1970. Lita Baron approaches, while in the foreground (left) Nelda Linsk, wife of art dealer Joseph Linsk, is talking to her friend, Helen Dzo Dzo.)
"I knew everyone," he famously said in an interview with The Independent in 2002. "They would invite me to one of their parties because they knew I wouldn't hurt them. I was one of them." While he was personally becoming a smash hit among the rich and famous around the globe, his pictures were quietly changing fashion too. Guest’s swimming pool became the swimming pool everyone wanted, and many copied it. In 1968, after Aarons shot Peter Pulitzer in plain khakis, those khakis became the must-have trousers.
(Guests by the pool at Nelda Linsk's desert house in Palm Springs, January 1970. The house was designed by Richard Neutra for Edgar J. Kaufmann.)
From ski resorts in Europe, to the boulevards in Hollywood and the beaches in Italy, Aarons accompanied the talented, privileged and extremely wealthy to villas and mansions; swimming pools and yachts. He was invited into a world of luxury and power and luckily for us, he documented it all.
(A chauffeur unpacks a picnic hamper from a Rolls Royce, against the New York skyline)
Through Slim Aarons' imagery, we can get a glimpse of beautiful people enjoying a lifestyle that has since been forgotten - one of style, grace and the Dolce Vita of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. His work is still now essential inspiration for top designers, art directors, and interior decorators all over the world.
Want more? Check out 55MAX's Slim Aarons collection: http://www.55max.com/collections/slim-aarons-collection