JULIAN WASSER "The Way We Were"
The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser
Edited by Brad Elterman. Text by Julian Wasser.
This long-overdue monograph presents an astonishing panorama of a bygone Los Angeles from photographer Julian Wasser. Some of the images are very well known--Joan Didion leaning against a Corvette Stingray in Hollywood, 1968; Marcel Duchamp playing chess at his seminal 1963 Pasadena exhibition--while many others, such as Barbara Hershey and David Carradine in bed in their Laurel Canyon house, Jack Nicholson and Angelica Huston at Jack’s Mulholland Drive home, or the Fonda family lined up on the family sofa, paint a picture of a very private Hollywood of the 1960s and 70s, when privacy was possible and celebrity culture had not yet completely consumed the country. Mingled with these iconic faces are pictures of California counterculture such as the Hog Farm Commune in Sunland; surfers in Malibu Beach; musicians such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Frank Zappa, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell and Elton John, documentation of events such as Robert Kennedy’s campaign and the Watts riots; shots of Clint Eastwood on the set of Magnum Force, George and Marci Lucas with Martin Scorcese and Roman Polanski at Polanski’s house on Cielo Drive after the murder of Sharon Tate in 1969.
Julian Wasser started his career in photography as a copy boy in the Washington, DC bureau of the Associated Press. He was a contract photographer for Time magazine for many years, and his photographs have also appeared in (and on the covers of) Life, Newsweek, People, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Oggi, Hello, Playboy, Elle, Vogue and GQ.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
THE WAY WE WERE, the first major monograph of Wasser's work, is a perfect time capsule spanning sixties, seventies, and eighties Los Angeles, with iconic shots (Joan Didion leaning against a Stingray) and unearthed gems (Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson horsing around at his house on Mulholland Drive).
Architectural Digest: Rebecca Bates
In the introduction to his new monograph, The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser (Damiani) Julian writes, “The glamour of Old Hollywood was still intact, but at the same time, everyone was approachable. There were no reserved VIP areas in clubs, no bodyguards or security men, no hordes of paparazzi.” With his Nikon in tow, Wasser was given unprecedented access to actors, musicians, politicians, and writers—everyone from fresh-faced, teenage Jodie Foster to silver-screen heavyweights like Steve McQueen and Jack Nicholson. Looking through these collected images, we see not only a more relaxed Hollywood, but also America during a dramatic cultural and political transition.
W Magazine: Dana Goodyear
The Sunset Strip, 1964: Julian Wasser, a young photographer on assignment for Life magazine, brings Zubin Mehta, the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to the Whisky à Go-Go, a brand-new nightclub. “I thought he’d get a kick out of it,” Wasser said recently, flipping through a box of old prints in his apartment in West L.A. “He hated it: ‘Ach, my ears.’?” Wasser, on the other hand, was the proverbial pig in mud. Everywhere he looked there were stars, unguarded and un-self-conscious, enjoying a golden moment in a golden town. Wasser snapped a picture of the actress Jayne Mansfield in a tight spaghetti-strap dress doing the Jerk with a civilian in a blazer. “His father was a billionaire who owned cemeteries in Florida,” Wasser confided. The photograph is featured in The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser (Damiani), a collection of Wasser’s Hollywood candids, which just came out. Three years after the picture was taken, Mansfield was killed in a car accident in Louisiana. Wasser still sees the cemetery heir in the lobbies of five-star Paris hotels during Fashion Week.
The New York Times: Rebecca Bengal
"The Way We Were"(Damiani Books), the first monograph by the photographer Julian Wasser, captures the heyday of celebrity and counterculture in Los Angeles...The effect of so many behind-the-scenes pictures plays out like a kind of movie in itself.