LIFE IMITATES ART, ART IMITATES LIFE: Michael Gross, author of “Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women,” has penned a sequel to his 1995 book on the modeling industry, which will hit stores in July.
Called “Focus: The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers,” the book takes the spotlight away from the models and puts it on the photographers who take their pictures.
Gross told WWD that new book, which is available on pre-order on Amazon.com, not only takes an insider’s look at the photographers, but also the advertising and media environment from the Forties to today.
“The line runs straight through the camera. It’s the other side of the coin,” said Gross, who noted that the book chronicles interviews, anecdotes and insights from his three decades of fashion reporting.
“They are completely different characters and they are utterly dependent on each other,” the writer said, of the model-photographer relationship. “It’s about the manipulators and the manipulated. Sometimes the manipulated manipulate. That makes it all the more interesting.”
Gross remarked on that relationship in the choice of each book’s cover. The original “Model” features a Bert Stern photograph of Veruschka posing over David Bailey, taken in the early Sixties. Gross said the cover inspired the scene in the film “Blow-Up” that produced the image on the new book’s cover of David Hemmings looming over Veruschka.
“Stern, Bailey and the story of Blow-Up all figure large in the book, of course,” Gross offered. “Photographers dominate this book just as models did the last — I love the reversal and the interplay of the images.”