Slim Aarons ended his war service as a photographer for the US military magazine Yank with a deep distaste for war. His mission, he famously stated, was to photograph ‘attractive people who were doing attractive things in attractive places.’ Working for Holiday, LIFE, Venture and Town & Country he travelled the world, taking pictures of the rich and famous in American and European high society at play. He eschewed the documentary style of gritty black and white photography so favoured by most of his contemporaries for sumptuous, rich Kodacolor to complement the sumptuous, rich colourful lives of his subjects. From the boulevards of Hollywood to the beaches of Italy, and ski resorts of Europe, he accompanied the wealthy, the privileged and the talented, into their villas and mansions, by their swimming pools and onto their yachts. It is a world of unprecedented luxury, power and beauty – and a party to which Slim was almost uniquely invited. Known for his positive portrayals, his presence at social gatherings became almost de rigeur. Through Slim’s imagery we can glimpse the Beautiful People, enjoying a lifestyle now all but lost – one of style, grace and the Dolce Vita of the 50s, 60s and 70s.
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