Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Windblown Jackie

with 10 comments

Ron Galella was the first American paparazzo, and probably the most infamous paparazzo of his day. He captured Elvis Prestley, Sophia Loren, Bruce Springsteen, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Robert Redford and Frank Sinatra on his camera, although none of them have posed for him. Brigitte Bardot hosed him down. Sean Penn spat at him. Richard Burton’s thugs beat him up. But Ron Galella remained unfazed. After Marlon Brando broke his jaw, he returned to take photos of Brandon wearing a football helmet.

Galella’s favorite and long suffering target was Jackie Kennedy Onassis. In the late 60s, when Jackie O. was living in New York, Galella bribed many doormen and chauffeurs to follow the former First Lady. Taken on October 7, 1971 as Jackie turned towards a taxi horn with a smile on Madison Avenue, the above photo was considered as Galella’s masterpiece. Jackie’s two high profile courtcases with Galella not only gave Galella notoriety, but also kept Jackie alive in the public eye. A retrospective film on Galella’s life was titled “Smash His Camera,” so-named for an utterance Onassis once made to a member of her Secret Service detail.

Jackie Kennedy would get into more trouble only a few months later when the pictures of her sunbathing nude and practising yoga on Onassis’s private island Skorpios. Hearing a rumour that Mrs Onassis sunbathed nude on one of the beaches, Italian paparazzo Settimio Garritano sneaked onto the beach and took the pictures. Many editors refused to publish them, but they eventually appeared in the Italian magazine Playmen in 1972. Reaction in the United States was critical, but when the pictures were eventually published in the Hustler, it became the best ever selling edition of magazine. So much for morality.

In the end it seems every one was fine with it. In his book Sex, Lies & Politics: The Naked Truth, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt referred to the snapshots as “the smartest investment of my life.” Aristotle Onassis was unperturbed: “Sometimes I take my clothes off to put on a bathing suit. So does my wife,” leading to accusations (by the AP no less) that he himself got a paparazzi to take pictures of his wife skinny-dipping. Jackie herself probably enjoyed this sort of exposure. Otherwise it was baffling as to why she would go and sunbathe nude on a beach where she had been stalked by paparazzi before. Believe it or not, her autographed nude photo was found in the archives of Andy Warhol, of all places!

I don’t want to link to the photos, but if you really must they are somewhere around here.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

July 17, 2010 at 4:37 am

10 Responses

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  1. That’s my favorite all time picture of Jackie Kennedy. I’ve had it in a file for years.

    Lucy

    July 17, 2010 at 11:19 am

  2. I am not so sure she “enjoyed the exposure”. There could be only two kinds of reaction – either protest loudly or shrug one’s [always elegant] shoulders and pretend to ignore.
    She tried first (two court cases) – but after certain point continuous outrage starts to look ridiculous. So she resolved to adopt the second.

    Always the a lady, a beacon for acute sense of social tact.

    ETat

    July 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

  3. she looks very thin

    jeffg

    July 18, 2010 at 12:05 am

  4. [...] – I have a lesson I teach about Paparazzi each year and one of the most famous is Ron Galella and most notoriously for this photo of Jackie Kennedy Onasis.  I’m definitely adding this [...]

  5. He is the subject of a new documentary I think is called “Break His Camera” or something. Apple.com has the trailer.

    Matthew

    July 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

    • Correction: It’s “Smash His Camera”

      Matthew

      July 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

  6. [...] to them. The last moments of Bismarck and Diana were marred by them. Only last week I wrote about Jackie O.’s lifelong spat with them. Photographers, photography and privacy. They had a tormented struggle together, and [...]

  7. how much is the magazine worth

    sam giordano

    August 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm

  8. sam3961@optonline.net like to know what the magazine is worth

    sam giordano

    August 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm


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