By Bebe Leone
Salvador Dali by Philippe Halsmann, 1954 Bill Murray by Inez&Vinoodh, 2004
Halsman took numerous photographs of friend and playmate Salvador Dali, all along their unique, fertile artistic collaboration that lasted for more than 30 years, leaving us with plenty of witty, whimsical images to fiddle around with. Besides flying cats and man-sized eggs, Dali’s distinctive mustache was often the focus of Halsman’s lens, portrayed in shapes of any sort and styled in surreal settings. “Whenever I needed a striking protagonist for one of my wild ideas, Dali would graciously oblige. Whenever Dali thought of a photograph so strange that it seemed impossible to produce, I tried to find a solution.” (Philippe Halsman)
Creative duo Inez and Vinoodh has a penchant for portraits and a penchant for flowers. Known for their artistic ability to create aesthetic dichotomies by combining “the beautiful with the bizarre… the elegant with the extreme” they chose to style Bill Murray with a daisy- sprouting beard to capture him for the New York Times ‘ Great performers editorial in 2004. “It’s all about this idea of finding the one element in someone’s physiognomy, heightening that through the lens and making everyone into a hero” (in Nowness). In the case of Murray, known for his mythical and magical performances in films the likes of The Groundhog Day and Anderson’s The Life Aquatic, the combination between delicate, feminine daisies and a mainly beard works simply fine..