Slim Aarons: A Place in the Sun

Slim Aarons, Photographer, Christopher Sweet, Introduction by
Slim Aarons, Photographer, Christopher Sweet, Introduction by , intro. by Christopher Sweet. Abrams $75 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8109-5935-4
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-4197-0060-6
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-8109-4603-3
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Flipping through the azure, emerald and sun-kissed pages of "golden age" celebrity photographer Aarons's third collection of images, it's hard not to feel a certain nostalgia, even if a backyard wading pool is as close as one ever got to the Cap d'Antibes. For as devotedly as Aarons documented the glamorous lives of the now all-but-vanished jet set—for magazines like Life , Holiday and Town and Country in the '50s, '60s and '70s—he was also witness to a time when the relationship between the "Beautiful People" and the rest of us was mostly one of uncomplicated envy and admiration. Oh, sure, some bitter Trotskyist might have objected to the godlike image of a nonchalant Kirk Douglas water-skiing with his hands on his hips, but many people were happy to gaze upon these photos of dewy poolside heiresses and arcadian Rolls-Royce desert picnics. Aarons himself had been through WWII; is it any wonder, then, that when asked to cover Korea, he replied that "the only beach [he] was interested in landing on was one decorated with beautiful seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun"? In an age when celebrities have increasingly become the objects of ridicule and disgust, of "inside" gossip and intrusive speculation, Aarons's lushly appointed and tenderly chronicled world looks more attractive than ever. (Dec.)

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