For fans of Johnny Hallyday, it is the exhibition of photos not to be missed. Up to 12 may, forty portraits of the idol is hanging on the white walls of the gallery, the Mandarin, near the Mazarine Library, Paris left bank. Twelve years of his life immortalized from 1998 to 2012 between Paris, New York, Los Angeles and on the dusty, legendary route 66 with its friends bikers.
Some large format are really worth the detour. Like this black and white taken in December 1998 in Manhattan by André Rau, which is a nod to a similar picture taken with James Dean in 1955. Same decor, same look, same dark coat. It is a favorite of Laura Smet, the daughter of rocker came to visit the exhibition incognito, last week. There are also the funny and poetic at the edge of a cliff near Los Angeles in 2011 signed Shelby Duncan, where Johnny Hallyday walk a guitar in hand near a convertible-vintage blue. Getting closer, we discover that the american photographer and his teams are reflected in the bumper. “Perfect to decorate a kitchen in the countryside,” laughs gallery owner Guillaume Valabrègue. The one where Johnny Hallyday poses with a air hard in a dark alley appears to have been taken in Italy or in Spain, but it is Montmartre which can be seen in the distance. Depending on the format, they are sold between 700 and 3500 euros, signed but not numbered.
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Taken in December 1998 in Manhattan by André Rau, this photo is a nod to the one with James Dean in 1955. André Rau / HK
This Saturday, April 13 in the gallery white any length, you would hear a fly fly. The fans go photo by photo. “The day before, one of them stayed almost three hours of meditation in total, tells Guillaume Valabrègue. Another broke down in tears in buying the book-catalogue.” (76 pages, sold for 30 €, ed.) For the fans as for Laura Smet, this exhibition recalls the happy days. On these series produced by the agency H&K between 1998 and 2012, Johnny Hallyday is muscular, tanned. A conqueror at the height of his power. It is far from the image of the mr patient described at the trial of the war of succession between his last wife Laeticia Hallyday and his two seniors, Laura Smet et David Hallyday.
After Marseilles, the mayor of Levallois-Perret and the galerie Joseph in the Swamp, Johnny the Star is the fourth exhibition dedicated to Johnny Hallyday since his death in December 2017. Here, there is no holding stage or personal items. Only pictures and Johnny Hallyday always alone. “I’ve obviously countless pictures of her family, but I wanted to focus on the artist’s work, or a vacation home on the island of Saint-Barthélémy,” says Monique Kouznetzoff, who organized this exhibition with Guillaume Valabrègue.
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co-Founder of Sygma, at the head of the agency, H&K, since 1998, Monique Kouznetzoff is a figure of the photo. His specialty has always been, these are the photos of stars taken by great photographers from Helmut Newton to Bettina Rheims. Vanessa Paradis, Monica Bellucci, Catherine Deneuve or Isabelle Huppert trust him. “I have done over 1000 sessions with Johnny in my life. He didn’t really ask, ” she recalls. He was quite shy. But he enjoyed meeting the photographers and their universe so far away from his own. In the Face of their goal, it was docile. If it was the photographer pleasant, it was fun. Hi guys in 2012, we worked forty years together. When we saw them, we were happy to be reunited, it was nice,” says the one who has co-authored with the press secretary of the Paris Gil Package, a very nice book about Johnny Hallyday on the occasion of his 50 years at the Parc des Princes.
Near Los Angeles in 2011, photo signed by Shelby Duncan. Shelby Duncan / HK
“In three weeks, we had sold 50,000 copies, a huge success,” she says. And then one day, Sébastien Farran the new manager of Johnny Hallyday arrived. The communication of the singer has changed to apply to other teams of photographers, more social networks and H&K has stopped working with the rocker. Discreet, Monique Kouznetzoff is too elegant to complain about. It is surely in the memories of his friendship ever since, with the rocker and his close relationship with the family that she was able to mount this exhibition. Sébastien Farran, who was able to show intimidating with many people organizing events related to Johnny Hallyday, is not manifest here. “I exhibit the productions of the H&K which are very chic. The work is clean, crisp and official,” underlines Monique Kouznetzoff. And to add: “I do live to our archives as I had done with the photos of Kate Berry this fall, with the help of Jane Birkin.”
After Laura Smet David Hallyday has promised to pass the gallery Tangerine. Just as Nathalie Baye Monique Kouznetzoff known since the early 1970s with The american night of François Truffaut. “I have worked with all of them. If Laeticia Hallyday came to Paris, she would obviously be welcome.”
(Gallery Tangerine, 15 rue de Seine (Sixth), Paris. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 14h30 to 18h30. Until 12 may.