"The Way We Were"(Damiani Books, $60), the first monograph by the photographer Julian Wasser, captures the heyday of celebrity and counterculture in Los Angeles... The effect of so many behind-the-scenes pictures plays out like a kind of movie in itself. (Rebecca Bengal New York Times Sunday
The Sunset Strip, 1964: Julian Wasser, a young photographer on assignment for Life magazine, brings Zubin Mehta, the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to the Whisky à Go-Go, a brand-new nightclub. "I thought he'd get a kick out of it," Wasser said recently, flipping through a box of old prints in his apartment in West L.A. "He hated it: 'Ach, my ears.'?" Wasser, on the other hand, was the proverbial pig in mud. Everywhere he looked there were stars, unguarded and un-self-conscious, enjoying a golden moment in a golden town. Wasser snapped a picture of the actress Jayne Mansfield in a tight spaghetti-strap dress doing the Jerk with a civilian in a blazer. "His father was a billionaire who owned cemeteries in Florida," Wasser confided. The photograph is featured in The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser (Damiani), a collection of Wasser's Hollywood candids, which just came out. Three years after the picture was taken, Mansfield was killed in a car accident in Louisiana. Wasser still sees the cemetery heir in the lobbies of five-star Paris hotels during Fashion Week. (Dana Goodyear W Magazine
In the introduction to his new monograph, The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser (Damiani, $60), he writes, "The glamour of Old Hollywood was still intact, but at the same time, everyone was approachable. There were no reserved VIP areas in clubs, no bodyguards or security men, no hordes of paparazzi." With his Nikon in tow, Wasser was given unprecedented access to actors, musicians, politicians, and writers-everyone from fresh-faced, teenage Jodie Foster to silver-screen heavyweights like Steve McQueen and Jack Nicholson. Looking through these collected images, we see not only a more relaxed Hollywood, but also America during a dramatic cultural and political transition. (Rebecca Bates Architectural Digest
THE WAY WE WERE, the first major monograph of Wasser's work, is a perfect time capsule spanning sixties, seventies, and eighties Los Angeles, with iconic shots (Joan Didion leaning against a Stingray) and unearthed gems (Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson horsing around at his house on Mulholland Drive). (Details
About the Author
Julian Wasser started his career in photography as a copy boy in the Washington DC bureau of the Associated Press. He was a contract photographer for Time Magazine for many years in Los Angeles. His photographs have appeared in and been used as covers for Life, Time, Newsweek, and People Magazines in the United States. He has done cover assignments for The Sunday Telegraph, and The Sunday Times colour supplements in London. His photos have appeared in US Magazine, Vanity Fair, TV Guide, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Oggi, Hello, Playboy, Elle, Vogue, and GQ. His fine art photography is available through The Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, California.