Philippe Halsman: Astonish Me!

Have you heard of Philippe Halsman? A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to visit an exhibit about his career at CaixaForum Barcelona. Named “Astonish Me!”, it is definitely worth a visit! 

Philippe Halsman was an American photographer born in Latvia and became famous due to his portraits of celebrities. He worked as a photographer for publications such as Life Magazine and Time, creating astonishing and yet beautiful shots that showcased the social and cultural movements from the 20th century.

He stayed in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, where he experimented with surrealism. He started his photographic projects back in that time, with fascinating images of women and ordinary people. 
He became very close to Marilyn Monroe. Philippe Halsman first photographed her when she was only an aspiring model and actress. After that and due to Marilyn’s success, he took some of the actress’ most popular photos, which were published at Life Magazine. 
Philippe Halsman also has an extended series of portraits, which include photos of Hollywood icons such as Sophia Loren, Alfred Hitchock, Audrey Hepburn and Dean Martin. 
‘Jumpology’ is the title of one of his most famous projects, which focuses on the power of people jumping. Philippe Halsman photographed classic Hollywood stars, models, singers and even members of the British Royal family jumping. 
Fascinated by Surrealism, Philippe Halsman also partnered with artist Salvador Dali to create a series of atomic and surrealistic photographs. 
If you are in Barcelona don’t forget to visit the Philippe Halsman: Astonish Me! exhibit. Ends November 6th.