A Serious Photographer With a Sense of Humor

Photographer Phil Stern captured some of the most well known images of midcentury movie stars, politicians and musicians in portraits and behind the scenes. You know his iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean from billboards and art books and countless documentaries. I was honored to attend the gala opening of an exhibit documenting Stern’s coverage of the 1961 presidential inauguration. I’ll never forget his dreamy hazy image of Sinatra lighting Kennedy’s cigarette. Earlier this year, Stern opened a permanent gallery in the Pacific Electric building downtown.  Go pay stylish gallery director Marc Baker a visit and see his latest exhibit: “Oddball!” The new show highlights Stern’s wacky side, with bizarre candids, special effects and gag captions painted directly onto the original prints. Go pick up a print and feel like the 6th rat packer.
Photograph (c) Phil Stern Photography Archives/CPI