Georges Dambier’s long and diverse career as a photographer gave him the privilege to shoot such mid-century fashion and cultural icons like Dorian Leigh, Josephine Baker, Jean Cocteau, Charles Aznavour, Capucine, and Brigitte Bardot. Dambier honed his signature style while working as a fashion photographer for ELLE in the 1950s and became famous for his classically chic portraits of women posing in the streets of Paris. It was Dambier’s decision to take the models outside the studio and place them in the streets that made his name and gives an instantly recognizable quality to his works. With an unquestionable ease, Dambier’s photographs evoke a quiet, effortless beauty that is truly timeless.
Currently running at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, Who’s That Girl? is the first major retrospective exhibit of Dambier in North America, and represents a significant showcase of the artist’s work, which is often overshadowed by more well-known fashion photographers like Richard Avedon, among others. The exhibition draws mostly from Dambier’s ELLE days of the 1950s and early 1960s, with selections showcasing his nonchalant and carefree style of photography that did not rely on studio perfection so much as improvisation and playfulness. It’s a time capsule of a cosmopolitan glamour that is still attempted today, but rarely ever reproduced.
Bonni Benrubi Gallery is located at 41 East 57th St. (13th Floor). Who’s That Girl? runs through May 21.