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Press Release

Jean-Marie Périer
First Person Access

April 23 through June 6, 2009
Reception for the Artist, Thursday, April 23, 7 - 9 p.m.

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is proud to present First Person Access: The World of Jean-Marie Perier, 1956-2008. Celebrity and music photographer, commercial and film director Jean-Marie Perier brings together a breathtaking retrospective in his first U.S. show. As one of France’s most celebrated photographers, Jean-Marie Perier has cultivated a unique relationship with his subjects. In his 40-year career, he has enjoyed extraordinary access to musicians, models, fashion designers, and celebrities, cumulating in an unparalleled survey of the popular scene of the past half-century. Documenting the rise of superstar acts like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, icons like Dylan and Bardot, and a panoply of popular French names and faces, Perier’s career reflects not only the adventure of a life well lived but also the richness of the French cultural scene he chronicled.

“All my life, I had the chance to meet people who accepted the appointment,” smiles the artist unselfconsciously. Known mostly as the “go-to” photographer for French media, Perier’s work goes far beyond the popular magazine feature or fashion spread upon which he’s built his international reputation. First Person Access takes both early and contemporary images and moves them from the magazine to the limelight, illuminating the groundbreaking lives Perier captured as he helped establish the look and presence of some of modernity’s most important names. The only photographer allowed to follow the early Beatles, Perier’s photographs engage not just the “Fab Four,” but also intimate moments of reflection and friendship. The personalities that underpinned the stunning talent are represented in perennial moments of reflection, celebration, and camaraderie captured on film. His ‘appointments’ with the Rolling Stones find him exploring the joi de vivre of the rock n’ roll lifestyle that made them legends on and off the stage. Perier’s retrospective collection shows the world of the emerging artist, just finding the scene, about to “make it big.” Each image anticipates the sensational and unforgettable reach of his subjects while capturing their genuine strive, joy, and anticipation as they are discovered and immortalized by the popular culture.

Jean-Marie Perier was born in Neuilly in 1940. In 1956, he became the assistant for Daniel Filipacchi, photographer for Marie-Claire. Soon he began to work for Jazz, Paris-Match, and Tele7Jours but soon left France for Algeria to do his national service. Upon his return, he was the official photographer of “Salut Les Copains” from 1962 to 1974, capturing many famous French singers from the 1960’s. He was also asked to develop advertising campaigns for fashion and contemporary culture, including clients like Levi’s and L’Oreal. Starting in 1975, he moved from photography to commercials, filming in Los Angeles and New York. He also began directing feature-length films, including the critically renowned ‘Sale Reveur’ with Jacques Dutronc and Lea Massari in 1978. He took up photography again when he returned to France in the beginning of the 1990s. His major new work has appeared in ELLE, at which he realized the series ‘In the universe of fashion designers.’ Returning to photography, he felt free again to make the kind of compositions that truly excited him. His subjects have included Saint-Laurent, Armani, Tom Ford, Christian Lacroix, Gaultier, Alaia, and many others. When not on set, he has been directing a series of documentaries for television. In 2008, he directed a series of 50 short films with Jacques Dutronc for the French channel Paris Premiere, followed by another series of 50 short films exploring the Sixties for France 5.

In 2002, Jean-Marie Perier presented his first major exhibition of photography, displayed at the Paris Hotel de Ville. Exhibitions in Los Angeles, Portland, and Rio de Janeiro are planned for 2009.