Skip to content

Press Release

Paris 1963

December 16, 2004 through January 29, 2005
Reception for the Artist, Thursday, December 16, 7 - 9 p.m.

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present the work of renowned photographer Melvin Sokolsky. The exhibition will reveal never before seen images from Sokolsky's "Bubble" Series from the Spring 1963 Paris Collections. His most celebrated work; these photographs were the culmination of the fantasy era of Paris fashion. The exhibition will also feature popular images from the series as large-scale prints. Sokolsky took the ordinary and transformed it into awe-inspiring images.

Haunted by a particular image from Hieronymous Bosch's "The Garden of Delights," Sokolsky experienced a re-occurring dream in which he saw himself floating inside a bubble across exotic landscapes. Inspired, he quickly used the idea for the series. The "Bubble" was crafted to emulate a Faberge Egg, for which Sokolsky had great admiration for its design and workmanship. Complicated and unrealistic at first, he was able to realize his dream. Sokolsky commented, "With the awareness that I was prone to live in my own head much of the time, and inclined to severe self-criticism, I began to have doubts whether I could create images on film that reflected the images in my mind's eye." The "Bubble" was produced in ten days of Plexiglass and aircraft aluminum for the hinged rings. After a successful test run, Sokolsky was off to Paris to shoot the Spring Collections for Harper's Bazaar. The challenge was to position a telescopic crane at each location from which the "Bubble" would be suspended. Using his favorite model at the time, Simone d'Aillencourt, she would get into the "Bubble" that was suspended a few feet off the ground, (hinged at the top like a Faberge Egg) so that it could easily swing open for entry. After being locked in safely, and able to breathe due to the space between the hemispheres; the "Bubble" was raised into the final position. Sokolsky describes one particular event, "There were times when this choreographed dance turned into a Laurel and Hardy comedy. The morning we shot on the Seine, the "Bubble" was lowered overzealously into the water, flooding it up to Simone's ankles, and in turn ruining an important pair of designer shoes."

Turning out to be an amazing adventure for him, Sokolsky was praised and congratulated for his unconventional yet triumphant work. He had ignited the world of fashion photography with his innovative style.

Melvin Sokolsky was twenty-one when he joined the staff at Harper's Bazaar. He has also directed numerous television commercials, for which he has been awarded twenty five times with the Clio Award, as well as the popular Director's Guild nomination. Sokolsky has exhibited his work internationally. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.