New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Ron Galella
Man in the Mirror / Viva L’Italia
reviewer #1

Never someone to let a celebrity death pass uncommemorated, Ron Galella has pulled out 42 or 43 (my counts differ) black and white prints of MJ with all manner of other famous celebs. The shots are arguably from the best years, photographically speaking, of the man – young, handsome and black. We can see the divide between the afro years and the geri curl years, the wide nose to the not-so-wide, and we never venture into that last, almost no-nose era. These are pictures that capture the world as only celebrity photo-journalism can. This was a time when people dressed-up to have their picture taken, tuxedo’s, rhinestones, long gowns were the norm. It was a time when grown men were not ashamed to grasp each other’s hands while turning their grinning faces to the gentlemen photographers gathered about them. And it was a time when Liberace, Michael Jackson and Ron Galella could all be standing within three feet of each other, each in a separate universe. The checklist for the show was unavailable when this reviewer arrived, so there may well be celebrities you have never heard of here, but if you want to get a feeling for what it was like to stroll from your limousine to the theater entrance – with Michael Jackson! – this is the show for you. All the cards and publicity material for this show mention something called Viva L’Italia, but MJ seems to have pushed the Italians aside (except for Sylvestor Stallone.)

Ron Galella
Man in the Mirror / Viva L’Italia


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Thursday, January 7 to
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