#007 ☼ The Lens of Leisure: Slim Aarons
☼ Slim Aarons • Renegade Surfer Girls • A Cement Factory Home
Hibiscus Garnished Palm Springs
With tasting notes of global glamour, Mediterranean villas, hifi speakers, a record number of air miles and a look behind the scenes of American high society in its heyday.
The good life beckons once more!
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The Lens of Leisure: SLIM AARONS
''I'm just an ordinary guy,'' Slim Aarons confessed. ''I just picked a niche nobody else did.''
Known for his insight into the worlds and lives of America's ultra elite throughout the 60s and 70s, the iconic photographer Slim Aarons was actually born George Allen Aarons and grew up in a Yiddish-speaking family on the Lower East Side of New York. When he was 18 years old, Aarons enlisted in the US Army and later served as a combat photographer capturing World War II, a far cry from the decadent images we associate him with today, self-defined as "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places."
Success rolled along quickly for Aarons who officially became Slim after his photo "Kings of Hollywood" in 1957. From Palm Springs to Monaco, Aarons was known to travel light with just his Leica and tripod, anticipating the spontaneous while also painting a host of locations (the Amalfi Coast, Beverly Hills, Miami Beach and so on) in a certain, glistening light. His unimposing yet striking way of capturing socialites frolicking and gossiping against heavenly houses and aqua blue pools has had an undeniable effect on FOMO, escapism and even hotels. Slim Aarons pioneered an entire aesthetic so potent that one can easily conjure it at the sound of his name.
Though Aarons' work illustrates the height of opulence, often shooting galas, charity balls, yacht vacations, outdoor sports, resorts and private homes, the most stylish magazines of the day like Holiday, Town & Country and Harper's Bazaar treated Slim's work with a gravity, featuring his photographs as reportage and accompanying them with serious articles about rituals and the lives of the upper class.
The former editor of Harper's Bazaar and co-author of Slim Aarons: Style, Kate Betsexplains that "The collection of images Aarons produced as he moved through the social circles of Palm Beach and New York… were as noteworthy as his impact on the world of style was indelible. Through Aarons’s work you can read the evolution of style across four decades, a statement about how to live, not just what to wear."
She concludes: "Slim Aarons was a man of his time, a shaper of what he observed and observer of what he shaped. In every photograph he took, Aarons arranged the view—his view—with careful consideration, instructing a subject to change his jacket, or hold a drink, pulling back the camera so an entire mid-century house and Palm Desert landscapewould come into view behind a pool where two women gossiped; or simply framing a Newport tennis match in a round trellis window…. It is hard to imagine anyone today having the influence he had in his heyday."
A Former Factory: BOFILL’S BARCELONA
"It is Bofill’s monolithic conversion showcased here that is undoubtedly his most personal work: a successful, and beautiful experiment in repurposing space, which has become a landmark of alternative living.
“My entire crew was under the age of 30, and we all listened to Bofill wide-eyed,” says Moya. “To see someone who is approaching 80 with such a modern and young mentality gave hope to all of us.”
An exploration of identity, eccentricity and living the good life online, for the adventurous & "very online" among you.
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