Sunday, March 16, 2014

POP, ROCK & DANCE: Ron Galella photo exhibit

reporter: Miguel Dominguez

On December 12, 2013, the Staley-Wise Gallery had a photo exhibit of top paparazzo Ron Galella, the very same one that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had to put a restraining order on.

Galella is widely known for his obsessive treatment of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the subsequent legal battles associated with it. The New York Post called this "the most co-dependent celeb-pap[arazzi] relationship ever." The famous 1972 free-speech trial Galella v. Onassis resulted in a restraining order to keep Galella 50 feet away from Mrs. Onassis and 75 feet away from her children.

Ron pretending he doesn't want the publicity

A Bronx native, son of an Italian immigrant from Muro Lucano (Basilicata), Galella served as a United States Air Force photographer during the Korean War and attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California, graduating with a degree in photojournalism in 1958.

Ron and Taki Wise of Staley-Wise Gallery

Ron with Leon Gast. Galella is the subject of a 2010 documentary
film directed by Leon Gast entitled Smash His Camera

Ron proceeded throughout the event to sign all his large images, but he did so by signing
 the glass covering the photos, so that the framed item became the work of art itself

On June 12, 1973, actor Marlon Brando punched Galella in the face outside a restaurant in Chinatown in New York City, breaking the photographer's jaw and knocking out five of his teeth on the left side of his mouth. Galella had followed Brando, who was accompanied by Dick Cavett, to the restaurant after a taping of The Dick Cavett Show earlier that day. Galella hired Stuart Schlesinger to sue Brando and ultimately settled for $40,000. Schlesinger reported in Smash His Camera that Galella received two-thirds, but only cared about getting the message out, "I don't want anyone to think they can go around punching me if I am taking their picture. Get that story out, not the money."

Christophe Von Holenberg with Taki and Rick Garson

Galella's photographs can be seen in hundreds of publications including Time, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, People, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker,The New York Times and Life. In his in-home darkroom, Galella makes his own prints which have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in both New York and San Francisco, the Tate Modern in London, and the Helmut Newton Foundation Museum of Photography in Berlin.

To see more photos of this event, CLICK HERE

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