Fashion photographer Hiro at Hamiltons Gallery

Stylish surrealism at this ultra-glam retrospective in London

Image: Jerry Hall, Saint Martin, French West Indies, 1975 © HIRO

Hamiltons Gallery in Mayfair will delight surrealist art and fashion lovers until Saturday March 12 with a retrospective of 24 works by Hiro, the 86-year-old photographer whose bold, innovative and exacting work first turned the heads of the fashion elite in the 1960s and whose work now resides in permanent collections including London’s V&A Museum and the Kobe Fashion Museum in Japan. An exhibition of his work runs at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston until Sunday August 14 – but this Hamiltonsretrospective offers the opportunity to add his work to private collections.

Image: Harry Winston Necklace, New York, 1963 © Hiro

Having arrived in New York from Japan in 1954, Hiro started out as an apprentice in Richard Avedon’s studio, and his talent soon made him the sole photographer kept under contract at Harpers Bazaar. One of Hiro’s covers for the magazine, Marisa Berenson, Hat by Halston (fourth picture) from 1966, will take centre stage in Hamiltons’ windows throughout the exhibition.

Image: Foot Series #6, New York, 1982 © HIRO
Image: Marisa Berenson, Hat by Halston, (Harper’s Bazaar Cover), 1966 © Hiro

Among the works on view and for sale (editions, from about $15,000 to $85,000) are a number of 1960s prints that lend highjewellerya fanciful spin: a Harry Winston necklace is found draped around a hoof (second picture), a tiny snake is coiled inside a chunky Van Cleef & Arpels bangle, and a bejewelled toad by David Webb lies in the talons of a small owl.


A stylish surrealist sentiment continues through works such as Foot Series #6 ($27,000, third picture) – arachnophobes beware – and Jerry Hall, Saint Martin, French West Indies ($27,000, first picture), a portrait of the model from 1975 where her cigarette smoke pollutes a cloudless sky in more ways than one. Further glamour comes courtesy of The Rolling Stones, who were photographed on Sanibel Island, Florida (and whose portrait, at 42in x 63in, is one of the largest pieces in the exhibition).

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