One Hundred

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Andy Warhol and Candy Darling

1969 by Cecil Beaton
National Portrait Gallery

Beaton had a wonderful aptitude for capturing the essence not just of someone’s personality but of their current purpose, their fleeting possession of that moment in time. His subjects are frozen in a tribute to themselves, a subtle demonstration of person but a beautifully natural one, such is their ease with their photographer. In postcard five Beaton placed Jean Cocteau in a surreal floating montage of his work; here, he captures the relationship of two people, focus is close, with the lens careful to capture both figures’ expressions. Any blur is given only by Candy’s wonderful hair, as it curls wildly towards both us and Warhol, providing an untamed softness to the carefully maintained features of her face. Candy’s role with Warhol, indeed within the sixties itself, is perfectly reflected in her positioning here; she lavishly leans back across the lens, eyes unafraid in locking our own. She insists on her presence coming in boldly, as she was made to do, from her own corner in the shadows. Her bravery and pizzazz is completely shown, from the piercing and beautiful face to the glamour in the strings of pearls that cascade from her throat. Warhol on the other hand is shown as he was, quietly but astutely in the background, in creative, artful, and perhaps meaningful, consideration.

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