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MR. WATSON, I PRESUME: At 67, lensman Albert Watson is going full guns and this fall will be no exception. The photographer, who has an ongoing gig with Rolling Stone, directs commercials and shoots incessantly, has inked a deal with Blackwell Publishers for two books. One has the working title of “UFO,” as in “Unified Fashion Objects,” which will spotlight various covers he did for Vogue and other Condé Nast fashion magazines in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties. The other tome is tentatively being called “Strip Searched,” and draws from the many shots he captured in his Las Vegas series.
Aaron Watson, who serves as an agent and manager for his father’s fine art photography, noted that his father’s career was established in fashion — shooting 200 covers for Vogue alone — but it has never been confined to the land of models, mannequins and magazines.
“Now what has happened over time is that what once appeared in magazines has become art,” Aaron Watson said. “When [Irving] Penn and [Richard] Avedon were working [years ago], the people viewing their work in magazines never imagined they would one day be on gallery walls.”
To that end, Milan’s Forma Galleria will unveil a retrospective of Albert Watson’s work Sept. 17 that will run through Jan. 3. And the Brooklyn Museum of Art will spotlight him in “Who Shot Rock,” which opens Oct. 30. An image of Mick Jagger superimposed on a leopard’s face and a series of splintered images of Michael Jackson dancing up a storm will be among the Watson selections in the show. The latter, which is 60 by 90 inches, was pulled by BMA long before the musician’s death, Aaron Watson said. Phillips de Pury stands to cash in on all this renewed interest in Watson’s work with a November sale at the New York auction house.
— Rosemary Feitelberg