Getty Images have given Enter Gallery access to the prestigious collection of infamous Michael Ochs photographs, that have defined a visual memory of celebrities throughout the 1940s to the 1990s. Enter Gallery are thrilled to be part of such a stunningly compelling body of photographic work, and we’re very excited to share it with you.
Michael Ochs began compiling the collection in the 1970s when he started his career in PR as he managed his brother’s, Phil Ochs', folk music career. The body of his collection were photos captured by some of the most prolific photographers of the times. Photographers such as Earl Grey, who consistently shot with Marilyn Monroe throughout her life, and James Kriegsmann who was the house photographer of the Cotton Club nightclub in New York.
The intimacy that Grey achieves in his work with Marilyn is indicative of a familiar relationship, a completely different perspective on celebrity that we have often seen posed or hounded by press. Likewise, with Kriegsmann, who took some of the first photographs of a young Frank Sinatra at the beginning of his career. Ochs truly maximised on being at the right place at the right time and sought out photos from his range of sources, rifling through artist estates and garages of retired recording executives. In doing so, he created one of the most iconic collections of photography in the world.
All of the photographs in the collection give a cultural context to hugely influential figures in our pop culture. Championing the poignancy of monochromatic magnetism in his collection, Och’s collection achieves consistency in its distinctive style and tone. There is a reverence in the gaze, but also a closeness. It feels like the viewer has been given an insight into a moment. It is rare that the subject would be looking directly into the camera, instead they are often lost in the ecstasy of performing or in pure joy. Instead of imposing a role on the subject, the photographs often capture an aspect more abstract. Through pure observation, we can see these people who we've seen so many times on television, on album covers and in films in a new way, being themselves.
Hepburn and Ferrer
A tender moment between Hepburn and Ferrer. Despite their relationship having its many flaws, this shot of spontaneous joy is one rarely seen. We see Hepburn lost in a moment of laughter, completely unabashed and free of self-consciousness. An incredibly rare and joyous feat of photography.
Marilyn Getting Ready To Go Out
With her trademark bottle of Chanel No.5 in hand, this photo captures truly the effortless grace and beauty of Marilyn Monroe. The dark softness of the lighting lends an intimacy to the scene, an almost voyeuristic stance for the viewer to immerse themselves in and enjoy.
Simon's Drive In Restaurant
Och’s collection doesn’t limit itself to famous faces as we see with his depictions of scenes. A nostalgic wistful vision of Americana, whilst at the same time the monochromatism gives the scene a classic timeless feel. It could be a melancholic meditation on the past or a celebration of American retro-futurism, it’s up to you.
Ziggy Stardust Era Bowie in LA
It’s hard not to feel the power and presence of this photograph of David Bowie. The elegance and poise of his expression juxtaposes with the essence of glam rock and this photograph epitomises Bowie as an undefinable enigma. He is sequined sternness, ferociously androgynous and unquestionably majestic. He’s Ziggy Fu*king Stardust.
WIN a Michael Ochs photograph!
To celebrate this iconic collection coming to Enter Gallery, we have teamed up with Getty Images to give one lucky winner a Michael Ochs print of their choice!
For chance to win head over Instagram page. The winner will be announced on Instagram on Sunday 13th September.