Divi e miti nelle immagini di Sam Shaw e Larry Shaw Texts in Italian and English
The people photographed are not the ones who transform themselves in front of the camera, creating the myth that will go down in history. The photographer is the one who creates that special feeling between himself and his subject. What the Shaws, both father and son, had in mind was not a posed photograph and they worked without poses, in a relaxed atmosphere where the subjects could be themselves. This is why the pictures seem to be "stolen", the subjects unaware they are being photographed, or better knowing they have to pose but not knowing exactly when and for how long. The transformation, the sublimation, of the subject is not what the photographer is looking for, but rather a down-to-earth, more or less normal, moment. The world of stars Sam and Larry Shaw photographed is a real world, where the light-hearted or everyday approach becomes the essence of the emotional message. Not by chance the artists on whom the two American photographers focused their cameras are often controversial celebrities, difficult, transgressive, tormented. Sam and Larry created, among others, the iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Romy Schneider. Sam and Larry Shaw's photographs of film and entertainment stars reflect the atmosphere of the time, show us how Americans in the 1960s worked and lived, where daily life for the stars, off the set, was a sort of backstage. Views of streets or of their homes are jumbled up with the movie sets, where the star, in the midst of the extras or the passersby in the city or surrounded by familiar objects, is almost unaware of the photographer. The cinema creates myths, the photograph fixes them. If the director is the minor god who governs the chaos of the set, the scenic photographer is the poet of Olympus, the court artist who unveils the secret facets of the stars. With their photographs Sam and Larry Shaw, father and son, bore witness to the greatness of Hollywood the fireworks of Cinecittà. There's Marilyn and our provocative Lollo and Sophia, a neurotic Woody, an intense Paul Newman, the mythical pictures of Marlon in a t-shirt, and those of Marcello and Vittorio, Romy and Ingrid and so many many others. We call them all by their first names, as if they were friends.