Five decades of photography
Curated by James Cavello
Douglas Kirkland has photographed legends in cinema, arts, science, culture and fashion that span five decades. Some of Kirkland's well-known subjects include Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Coco Chanel, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Katherine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Grace Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Orson Welles, John Wayne, Pierre Cardin, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Dr. Stephen Hawking, The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Sting, Morgan Freeman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liza Minnelli, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dr. Stephen Hawking and hundreds of other talented individuals. He has worked on over 100 film sets with numerous directors, creating an extensive archive of film history. A photographer undaunted with the challenge of photographing personalities in all their glory, Kirkland is certainly a legend in his own right.
In 1958 Kirkland apprenticed to photographer Irving Penn and thereafter was hired by Look Magazine as a photojournalist. He was 27 years old when he photographed Elizabeth Taylor and the same year captured the renowned photos of Marilyn Monroe wrapped in silk sheets. During the 1960's and 70's Kirkland photographed for LIFE magazine and Time Life Publishing traveling worldwide on assignments ranging from astronomy in Chile to fashion in Bali. In addition to photojournalism and cinema, he has produced compelling pictorials of social essays, nudes and portraiture.
Numerous books have been published on Kirkland's photographs, including Light Years, Icons, Legends, Body Stories, Woza Africa, James Cameron's Titanic, Chanel: Three Weeks and An Evening, My life in Pictures. Douglas Kirkland's fine art photographs have been exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States. He is the recipient of the Lucie Award for 'Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment Photography', as well as receiving the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' from the American Motion Picture Society of Operating Cameramen. In addition, he was named 'Photographer of the Year' by Photoimaging, Manufacturing and Distributors' Association (PMDA) in 2002. Kirkland is also a guest lecturer at film and art institutions. In 2008, 100 photographs by Douglas Kirkland were exhibited at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles during the 80th Annual Academy Awards. His exhibition titled "Freeze Frame" is in the permanent collection of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.