See the Iconic Shots of Audrey Hepburn, David Bowie, and Other Celebs in Fotografiska’s Starry Terry O’Neill Retrospective


Stars,” an exhibition of works by late British photographer Terry O’Neill, opens at New York’s Fotografiska in June with an eye on the celestial plane. Or something close enough: the 110 images, snapped between 1963 and 2013, sees O’Neill train his lens on earth’s biggest celebrities at work and at play—engaging in some cricket on break, lounging by the pool after winning an Oscar, commanding a stadium-sized audience. It’s proof finally that celebrities are, in fact, like us.

Born 1938 to Irish parents in Romford, Essex, O’Neill started his career in the technical photographic unit of an airline at London’s Heathrow Airport. He acquired an Agfa Silette camera to photograph people around the facilities for fun, and caught a picture of home secretary Rab Butler slumbering, “surrounded by a group of African chieftains dressed in full tribal regalia,” Fotografiska exhibition manager Phoebe Weinstein told Artnet News.

That shot got O’Neill a job at the British tabloid in 1959, where he documented Britain’s rising youth culture, befriending the Beatles and the Rolling Stones before they were big. He went on to accompany the likes of Elton John and David Bowie on tour—and married actress Faye Dunaway six years after iconically capturing the morning after her first Academy Award.

O’Neill later switched to Leica, which he stuck with for most of his career. “The Leica was very important to me,” he once said. “It was a fabulous camera to use—quick as a flash, anywhere, any time.” With it, O’Neill immortalized boxing legend Muhammad Ali, filmmaker Spike Lee, and numerous players of James Bond through the ages. Though best known for his candid shots, his posed images do not lack for a looseness and spontaneity either.

“Stars” marks O’Neill’s largest U.S. exhibition to date—and his first museum solo show in New York City. There, visitors can explore his work according to subject matter and theme. “There is a lot of crossover with the subjects that Terry photographed, but he was also very dedicated and close to certain subjects,” Weinstein said. “I believe the way the exhibition is organized reflects that.”

And why now for an O’Neill retrospective? Well, Weinstein offered, excusing her pun, the stars at this moment have simply aligned.

Preview some images from the show below.

Audrey Hepburn plays cricket on the beach during a break from filming Stanley Donen’s film , 1966. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

Singer Janis Joplin singing ‘Little Girl Blue’ for the television show , December 4th, 1969. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

French actress Brigitte Bardot on the set of a.k.a. , directed by Christian-Jaque in Spain, 1971. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images

American musician Chuck Berry on stage with Keith Richards during the filming of Taylor Hackford’s documentary , 1986. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

American film director Spike Lee in Tuscany, 1993. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

Musician David Bowie and actress Elizabeth Taylor meet for the first time at George Cukor’s house in Beverly Hills, 1974. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

Musician Elton John performing at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, October 1975. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

American actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in costume as brother and sister Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in George Lucas’s trilogy, 1977. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

American actress Faye Dunaway sits by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, the morning after the Academy Awards ceremony, where she won a Best Actress Oscar for her part in Sidney Lumet’s , March 29, 1977. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.

Singer Amy Winehouse poses for a portrait shoot during a concert honoring Nelson Mandela 90th birthday in Hyde Park, London, June 27, 2008. Photo: ©Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images.


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