Philippe Halsman: ‘Astonish me!’

Marilyn graces the cover of Philippe Halsman: Astonish Me!, a new, 320pp book about the Latvian-born photographer, accompanying an exhibition at the Museé de l’Elyseé at Lausanne in Switzerland, will be published this month in the UK, with the US edition following in February.

“Salvador Dali’s flamboyant moustache, Richard Nixon jumping in the West Wing, Grace Kelly’s amazing profile—these are just a few of the images that achieved iconic status and helped make photographer Philippe Halsman an icon in his own right. Comprising hundreds of photographs and insightful accompanying texts, this volume explores Halsman’s oeuvre in a variety of aspects. It examines his early career exhibiting works at the avant-garde La Pleiade Gallery in Paris; his experiments with portraiture, particularly the series of stunning images of Marilyn Monroe and his more than 100 covers for Life magazine; his pictures of the contemporary art scene that include famous dancers, movie stars, stage actors, and musicians and the birth of his ‘jumpology’ concept; and his unique, 30-year collaboration with Salvador Dali, including a book devoted entirely to the artist’s moustache. Anyone interested in portraiture, celebrity, or performance will marvel at the breadth and magnificence of Halsman’s work, which is definitively presented in this beautiful volume.”

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