Previously unseen images from the birth of paparazzi photography are revealed in a new exhibition that opens today.

Close up (Bardot on the set of ‘Le Mepris’) 1963 © Tazio Secchiaroli

The paparazzi photographers’ ‘obsession’ with celebrity is explored in the show, which runs at the James Hyman Gallery in London until 18 March.

Called ‘La Dolce Vita: Tazio Secchiaroli and Paparazzi in Italy’, it features images captured from 1954-1967 by some of the most accomplished paparazzi photographers.

Star subjects include Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren.

The exhibition includes rare vintage prints and work by Tazio Secchiaroli (1925-1998), who appeared in Federico Fellini’s 1960 seminal film La Dolce Vita and was credited as the basis for the character ‘Paparazzo’.

5097Sophia Loren in a dramatic moment on set c1960 © Giancarlo Botti

The gallery said: ‘[The exhibition] traces the development of a whole new aesthetic and genre of photography.

‘Fuelled by an international obsession with celebrity, these rare photographs illustrate the creation of a more candid, intimate and revealing depiction of youth that swiftly replaced the more controlled and posed studio imagery of the publicity machines of the film studios.

‘It shows how the stars, with the assistance of the paparazzi, created a whole new image of womanhood, female sexuality and youth fashion.’

The show takes place at the James Hyman Gallery, 16 Savile Row, London W1S 3PL. Tel: 0207 494 3857.

The exhibition coincides with a separate exhibition about Tazio Secchiaroli that runs at the Italian Cultural Institute in London. ‘Tazio Secchiaroli: on and off the set’ runs from 14 March-17 April.

5526Audrey Hepburn c1957 Anonymous

6186Beatles press conference at Hotel Parco dei Principi
1966
© Marcello Geppetti

  • foto2021

    It is nonsense to accuse the paparazzi of an ‘obsession’ with celebrity.

    Paparazzi might have an obsession with making money, but the people who are obsessed with celebrity are those who buy celebrity magazines, read the newspapers’ celebrity columns and watch celebrities on movie and TV screens. Their hunger for celebrities creates a demand for images of them.

    All paparazzi do is satisfy the demand created by those people.