Jonathan Becker and the Art of the Celebrity Portrait
A first look inside photographer Jonathan Becker’s new Scad Fash exhibit.
From the Prince of Wales to Robert Mapplethorpe to Carolina Herrera, legendary lensman Jonathan Becker has spent a lifetime photographing some of the world’s most fascinating characters. For the first time in over 30 years, his portraiture work will get ample museum real estate with his new SCAD FASH retrospective opening Friday, titled “A Fashionable Mind: Photographs by Jonathan Becker.”
Trained under the iconic Hungarian artist Brassai in France, Becker got his start doing portraits at Interview magazine and started regularly contributing to Vanity Fair after a successful solo exhibition in 1981. His unique portraits of heads of state, artists, and socialites, photographed mostly on-location, quickly captured the attention of the magazine’s editors and defined its style after the 1983 relaunch by Tina Brown.
The collection of images, 60 in total, includes the photographs curated by Andre Leon Talley for the original exhibition at the SCAD Museum of Art, along with a sprinkling of new images. Though his subjects in the show range from Nicole Kidman to Andy Warhol, they are all united by Becker’s incredible knack for capturing their style and spirit through the lens. These images offer a rare glimpse at some of the world’s most famous faces, like John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette, in their most unfiltered, raw moments. Here, an exclusive first look at some of the images in the forthcoming exhibition.
“A Fashionable Mind: Photographs by Jonathan Becker” opens at Scad Fash on January 22 and runs though April 1. Join Becker and Vanity Fair’s Bob Colacello for a conversation tonight at SCAD from 7-8pm.