Lawrence Schiller exhibition

Published at L'Officiel Italia on 27th May 2014

When Lawrence Schiller first photographed Marilyn Monroe in 1960 he was just 23 years old. At this point, the Hollywood star knew more about photography than him, he says. Although, by then the Brooklyn born Schiller already had ten years of experience. At the age of 13 he started to work for a local newspaper and was soon documenting major stories for magazines like Life, Glamour or Playboy while still attending Pepperdine College in Los Angeles.

Due to this career in photojournalism, his pictures always display a spontaneous, natural and very intimate look. The ultimate breakthrough came with the series of Monroe he took two years after they first met. For Paris Match he photographed the star nude by the swimming pool on the set of her last movie Something’s Got to Give. In the meantime, they had developed a friendship which certainly contributed to the ease of the pictures. In 2012, Schiller released Marilyn & Me, a chapter of his autobiography, which tells his insightful story of the legend with many unpublished pictures and texts.

Monroe was not the only iconic figure of the Sixties Schiller managed to portray so well. He photographed Robert F. Kennedy during his presidential campaign, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand or Muhammad Ali in his fight with Floyd Patter. In the year 1966 he published his first book about LSD together with two authors. Five New York Times bestsellers and many other collaborative books like the Pulitzer Prize-winner The Executioner's Song, written with Norman Mailer, followed. Based upon this book Schiller produced and directed the Emmy award winning television miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones. The photographer also co-directed The American Dreamer in 1971 about Dennis Hopper among other film projects.

Schiller was always not just interested in the glamorous lives of the stars, but also in documenting moments in world history too, including the trials of Lee Harvey Oswald, Gary Gilmore and O. J. Simpson.


The exhibition “Lawrence Schiller” at galerie hiltawsky in Berlin is presenting a great overview of his work until June 7th.