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Photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni’s career has stretched over five decades, and throughout this tenure, he’s had the fortune of archiving the lives of some of the most recognized artists of contemporary times. From Andy Warhol to Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basqiuat, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons and Georgia O’ Keeffe, Gorgoni’s personality-driven portraits expose the artist as a person rather than the forever immortalized, untouchable creator many of us have come to consider them.

Originally from Rome, Gorgoni moved to New York in 1968 after becoming enamored with photography during a trip to London three years earlier. Ever enterprising, Gorgoni actually bartered his way to New York on a freighter ship, exchanging a photo essay of sea life for passage to the Big Apple. Soon after arriving stateside, he began a partnership with Italian magazine “L’Espresso,” who commissioned him to cover the vibrant art world of New York. It was this partnership that led him to acclaimed art dealer Leo Castelli, a man who would prove to be the bridge that connected the photographer to the city’s most influential and enduring creatives.

Gorgoni’s portraits were recently on display in London as part of the Through the Lens: Icons of Contemporary Art by Gianfranco Gorgoni exhibition. In homage to the show, “AnOther” Magazine shared some of the true stories behind Gorgoni’s most recognized portraits. Learn more about them over at AnOther.

Words by Stephanie Smith-Strickland
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