Douglas Kirkland remembers his photoshoot with Marilyn Monroe perfectly. “She said, ‘I know what we need,'” he tells me. “‘We need a bed, a white silk sheet, and Dom Perignon. And I won’t have anything on but that white silk sheet.’ That was very exciting for a young man like me.” Monroe was one of Kirkland’s earliest subjects as an up and coming photojournalist working for Look magazine and later for Life, as was Elizabeth Taylor. Now, at 82, he has captured intimate portraits of some of Hollywood’s most iconic stars, from Charlie Chaplin to Audrey Hepburn to Meryl Streep to Jack Nicholson.
A series of Kirkland’s celebrity photographs taken over his half-century career are on display in Douglas Kirkland: Life Beyond the Lens, an exhibition at Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills that runs April 28-May 10. The lensman himself will be making appearances at the gallery on Friday, April 28 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, April 29 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, April 30 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The images are available for acquisition through the gallery; if that’s a smidge outside of your budget, consider a copy of Kirkland’s latest photographic compendium, Freeze Frame: Second Cut, for the coffee table. Get a sneak peek at what’s in the exhibition below.
All photographs by Douglas Kirkland