Hands up then – who’s got love for the ’80s? Well we have. Sure, there is plenty to look back on and ridicule, but as our contemporary world descends into an almighty vortex of shit, nostalgia has never looked so good. The 1980s really knew how to strike a pose, and it’s during this decade that portrait photographer supreme Greg Gorman did what we are going to declare his best work.
Gorman began in photojournalism, before a picture of Jimi Hendrix performing at a Kansas City concert in 1968 revealed his true calling. His career as a celebrity portrait photographer lasted more than 40 years, and a retrospective of the highlights goes on show at galerie hiltawsky, Berlin, later this month. The 1980s can be seen as something of a confluence of eras, with true icons of the 1960s cultural revolution still commanding attention alongside the emerging stars of a more brash age. Gorman was the go-to guy, with a style employing sharp contrast between light and shadow and a gift for highlighting the contours of a face and the lines of a body. Outstanding examples of his work from that time are portraits of the always-compelling David Bowie and Andy Warhol, the smouldering Kim Basinger circa Nine and a Half Weeks, and a pre-mask Michael Jackson. Greg Gorman: Portraits runs from 13 September to 9 November.