Sunday, December 5, 2010

Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective

Astrid Kirchherr, is the Hamburg photographer/artist who photographed the (very) young Beatles. Also became a lover to both Klaus Voorman and the lost legendary beauty (and Beatle) Stu Sutcliffe. He is the one who left the band for the visual arts, but died in his early 20's. 

Kirchherr made a series of haunting portraits of the men in her life, and what we have here is the social world of John, George, Paul, Pete Best, Ringo, Klaus and Stu. She also brought in the French new wave St. Germain aesthetic to the guys. in other words she opened up their Liverpool world into even a bigger world. Short, but important time was spent in Hamburg playing in various rough and tuff music clubs - and with that a mixture of high art/aesthetics were the floor plans for the Beatles aesthetic take-over of the 1960's. 

The beauty of Kirchherr's work is being in the right place, right time, and the right subjects for his image taking. But she also knows a beautiful face, and knows how to light it and presented to the world. Remarkable talent. 

This is a catalog to her retrospective that took place in Liverpool, and it is both an important document of a time past, but also the great dynamics that were happening between mainland Europe and the Liverpool scene. Essential book for the Beatle lover, but even something more....
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