During the Milan Fashion Week, the splendid hall of the Château Monfort Hotel hosted a photo exhibition titled “Extraordinary images of a timeless icon”, featuring 20 original photographs taken between 1967 and 1980 by the most important and famous American “paparazzo”: Ron Galella. In addition to his “stolen” shots of VIPs, movie stars and music legends, published by all the most important magazines in the world, Galella owes his celebrity to Jackie Kennedy who, at the beginning of the 70s and in the 80s, took him to court for a long legal battle because of the paparazzo’s constant stalking.
His ability to capture the soul of a person, in its most humane, intimate and spontaneous moments, earned him the title of “Paparazzo Extraordinaire” for Newsweek and “Godfather of U.S. paparazzi culture” for Time and Vanity Fair. Andy Warhol famously described the reason for Galella’s work and for his professional success: “A good photo must portray a famous person doing something un-famous. They have to be in the right place at the wrong time. That’s why Ron Galella is my favourite photographer”.
Treated with almost reverential fear by the entire jet set, Galella had one great obsession that accompanied him for most of his life: Jackie Kennedy, an obsession so strong that he dedicated two books to her. The first, “Jacqueline”, was published in 1974, while the second, “Jackie, My Obsession” came out in 2012.
The photo called “Windblown Jackie”, which portrays Jackie on Madison Avenue in New York in October 1971, was chosen by TIME magazine as “one of the 100 most influential photos in the history of photography” and considered by Galella himself his “Mona Lisa”, probably because of the enigmatic expression on her face.
The selection of the pictures presented at the Château Monfort Hotel, all in black and white, mostly “vintage” prints dating back to the ’70s, highlighted Jackie’s extraordinary and timeless elegance, whether she wore an expensive Valentino evening gown – as portrayed in one of the photos – or a simple shirt. The exhibition also highlights some of the accessories that have made the history of fashion, such as her ever-present black sunglasses, the Gucci hobo bag and the splendid jewels she wore during gala evenings.