These days, the celebrity image is simply made up of obnoxious excess – too much exposure, too much influence + too much plastic surgery. To best capture this excess in a photograph while obliterating every flaw, before Photoshop, before digital cameras + before publicists, a lot of the shots were ‘airbrushed’ or retouched at best. Yet, the eccentric + animated celebrity photographer Johnny Rozsa, dealt with his celebrity subjects by using an honest, raw + ‘make no apologies’ approach, a lot of which can be seen in his aptly titled book, ‘Untouched by Johnny Rozsa’, published by Glitterati Incorporated.
In it’s second circulation through Glitterati Incorporated, Rozsa’s book could not come at a better time + be more relevant in the age of #selfies + instagram, where re-touching is only accomplished through filters + various apps. For Johnny, everything is plasticized, saying ‘ Skin does not have to have pores + breathe. Erasing a ‘flaw’ is a snap!’, just by a few clicks of a mouse.’ True, Johnny agrees it all has its place, but believes ‘our generation now depends on it + on the knife, + this dependence makes everything that we view too sanitized, too homogenized.’
Manolo Blahnik, Tilda Swinton
Containing a never before seen collection of 160 ‘untouched portraits’, spanning thirty years, Rozsa gives us an intimate peek at some of Hollywood’s best. Although a lot of the photographs were shot on set, some were on location. Many of the celebrity portraits, including Halle Berry, Jade Jagger + Carmen Electra, were all shot before they became household names.
But there’s a lot to be said about a picture that has so little going on as far as staying true to the façade of the celebrity. Take this picture of Susan Sarandon (below), for instance – As is, Susan looks beautiful + strong while
Susan Sarandon, Grace Jones
simultaneously looking very soft, sexy + playful. Had Photoshop stepped in, stripping away the slight lines around her eyes + neck, she would still look good minus authenticity. There’s just something about a photo that gives you that immediacy of intimacy of its live subject, suspended in time without a single hair being touched. For Rozsa, a photograph is like a blink adding, ‘ It lasts for a fraction of a second + yet a portrait can capture a whole story.’ Overall, Johnny Rozsa is just living proof that a picture is as good as it’s photographer, without all the digital smoke + mirrors.
For your very own copy of ‘Untouched by Johnny Rozsa’, published by Glitterati Incorporated, go to http://glitteratiincorporated.com for purchase.