THK Photography presents a series of celebrity portraits by Douglas Kirkland; the selection of images spanning an impressive time frame: photographed between 1961 and 2007.

Kirkland is a world-renowned photographer, and has been working at the cutting edge of fashion, photojournalism, and portraiture for more than 50 years. During this expansive career he has worked for magazines such as Look Magazine and Life Magazine, and his work is in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious institutions such as the Smithsonian and London’s National Portrait Gallery. Among numerous other accolades spanning his extensive oeuvre, The American Society of Operating Cameraman awarded Kirkland a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2006.

In 1961 a 27-year-old Kirkland photographed one of the world’s most iconic figures: Marilyn Monroe. The young Kirkland spent an evening with the star – capturing intimate portraits of her swathed in white sheets. “She was not like the Marilyn I expected, she was easy and light, and almost playful, and very disarming for me” explained Kirkland in an interview for CBS. The images were taken for the cover of Look Magazine’s 25thanniversary, and the legendary encounter propelled Kirkland into becoming one of Hollywood’s favourite photographers – serving as the sole photographer on numerous film sets, from The Sound of Musicto Titanicand developing an extensive archive of candid celebrity portraits. Known for his charming and gentle demeanor; Kirkland intensifies the aura, mystery, and in some cases, humanity, surrounding celebrity figures – adding a touch of realism to the portraits of otherwise untouchable celebrities.

On view in this exhibition are the famous 1961 portraits of Marilyn Monroe, as well as those of Coco Chanel, Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, Dita von Teese, Bjork, Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Keith Haring, and Grace Jones.

"The word 'celebrity' is a rather peculiar word," says Kirkland. "I work with celebrities but I'm not in awe of them. Individuals are less important to me than the possibilities of creativity. It's making images that excites me. Honestly, the names have come and gone, but my good fortune is that I've remained."

 

ABOUT DOUGLAS KIRKLAND

Douglas Kirkland is a world-renowned photographer – working at the cutting edge of fashion, photojournalism, and portraiture for more than 50 years. During this expansive career he has worked for magazines such as Look Magazine and Life Magazine, and his work is in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious institutions such as the Smithsonian and London’s National Portrait Gallery. Among numerous other accolades spanning his extensive oeuvre, The American Society of Operating Cameraman awarded Kirkland a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2006.

In 1961 a 27-year-old Kirkland photographed one of the world’s most iconic figures: Marilyn Monroe. The young Kirkland spent an evening with the star – capturing intimate portraits of her swathed in white sheets. “She was not like the Marilyn I expected, she was easy and light, and almost playful, and very disarming for me” explained Kirkland in an interview for CBS. The images were taken for the cover of Look Magazine’s 25th anniversary, and the legendary encounter propelled Kirkland into becoming one of Hollywood’s favourite photographers – serving as the sole photographer on numerous film sets, from The Sound of Music to Titanic. His extensive archive of candid celebrity portraits includes the like of Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin, Jack Nicholson, John Travolta, Michael Jackson, and Andy Warhol. Known for his charming and gentle demeanor; Kirkland intensifies the aura, mystery, and in some cases, humanity, surrounding celebrity figures – adding a touch of realism to the portraits of otherwise untouchable celebrities.

"The word 'celebrity' is a rather peculiar word," he says. "I work with celebrities but I'm not in awe of them. Individuals are less important to me than the possibilities of creativity. It's making images that excite me. Honestly, the names have come and gone, but my good fortune is that I've remained."

When he is not traversing the globe on assignment, Kirkland resides in the Hollywood Hills with his wife and business partner, Francoise.