When I was in London last year, I was sorry not to have time to go to the National Portrait Gallery to see the Vanity Fair exhibition, with its striking poster - Gloria Swanson, snapped by the great Edward Steichen . What do you know? Now the show, like me, is in Los Angeles...
It was a magical afternoon at the LA County Museum of Art, as I took delight in seeing divine shots by some of my favorite photographers, amongst which Man Ray or Mapplethorpe. I especially loved the group portraits of actors, such as the one with a radiant, beautifully aged Vanessa Redgrave at the center, and the Shakespeare one, featuring Sir Ian McKellan in a suit and pair of Converse, as well as dear Dame Judi Dench.
I was thrilled each time I spotted one of my heroes: supreme French author Colette, dancers Anna Pavlova and Bronislava Nijinksa, James Joyce, Thomas Hardy, Igor Stravinsky, Louise Brooks... Sadly, as decades went by in the different rooms of the show, I spotted fewer and fewer people I worship; it seemed the photographs went on to focus on bland celebrities (the Miller sisters - why oh why?), models (Gisele may have a spectacular body but is she in any way inspirational?) and the like rather than on great minds.
Who are your heroes and icons?