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Naked Hollywood Paperback – 1976
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Weegee / Mel Harris
The photo book Naked Hollywood by Weegee and Mel Harris is a phenomenal collaborative body of work. You are introduced to a new insight on Hollywood in the late 1950’s. The work brings a new irony to the time period with images that are not only outrageous but also portray the illusion of the 1950’s hollywood glamour. The book is divided into four “acts” which include the Dream Factory, The People, Private Lives, and Sweet Scene. Each section had it’s own clever and individualized concept. As the viewer you would often not see the differentiation between the sections. Yet, whether the viewer is watching a fan freak out in The People or you see a snapshot of the back of a “stars” head in Private Lives you understand the irony within each section. The viewer is brought into the book with many text blurbs accompanying the black and white flash images. Many of the blurbs accompanying the images are ironic and humorous. There are often parts where the double page spread in used to it’s best advantage. There are photographs and blurbs that tell a story from left to right. From an image on the left of feet touching with a caption “Boy meets girl” to the image on the right of a couple kissing with a caption saying “Boy gets girl.” The book presents images in a raw and outlandish way. Many of the facial expressions are those of accidental moments. The candid quality gives a weird and unsettling outlook on Hollywood. You are forced to see the glamorous be “not glamorous.” The selection is so particular throughout the book and within the layout that the candid quality becomes an irony within itself. This book leaves the viewer in shock mode but is full of charm and wit. Each page turn leaves the viewer shocked with what will be next. The body of work is truly unifying and groundbreaking.