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Review: 'It's Not About Me: A Retrospective' is a Timeless Trove of Images

by Bill Biss
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Oct 8, 2020
Review: 'It's Not About Me: A Retrospective' is a Timeless Trove of Images

Through the eyes of renowned photographer Greg Gorman, and into the eyes of famous stars, is an art form of portraiture photography that is elevated to the highest degree in "It's Not About Me: A Retrospective." It's a lavish book that weighs in at seven pounds and is coffee table-size. But what is inside is a remarkable banquet of photos that spans decades of his unique ability to capture these famous and talented people in grace, angst, love and emotions with each photograph presented. It's a testament to Gorman's talent and his long-lasting career as a gentle genius with his camera.

There are over 375 black and white and color portraits presented here, and truly they are suitable for framing when you find just one of many favorites. But some might not want to ruin the beauty of the book.

Greg Gorman has photographed so many famous people in his career. Let's drop some names, shall we? On the music end of the spectrum: David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Bette Midler, and Sir Elton John. John wrote the Forward for "It's Not About Me." Gorman has also created stunning portraits of many of the finest stars in film: Kevin Costner, Bette Davis, Helen Mirran, Lauren Bacall, Dustin Hoffman, Johnny Depp, John Waters (Waters wrote the Epilogue for this), and Divine... I can't list them all, as it's a veritable spotlight gallery exhibition of star power.

This collection (hand-picked by Gorman, of course) represents 50 years of his work. There are no captions, and none is needed as nearly all of the photos are instantly recognizable. Yet, at the end of the book, there are eight pages which give the page number, the performer's name, the year Greg took the photo, and even where he took the photo. That's book smart to do it this way.

Truly a master of the camera, Greg Gorman's talent also lies in his ability to put the people he photographed at ease, letting them do what they do best in being in front of the camera; whether it is twinkling, seriousness, laughter, or simple beauty. Gorman brings out the best of their creativity and his own.

Greg Gorman took the time as well in "It's Not About Me" to write about his life and career trajectory as a photographer. This essay is a ten-page spread with photos, of course, as he shares with the reader a journey of his thoughts and his life. Fortunately, this section is titled "It's All About Me," and it should be.

This is a stunning book that spans the years but is timeless in itself.

Greg Gorman's book "It's Not About Me: A Retrospective" is available now from teNeues Publishing.

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