Beverly Hills Hotel And Photographer Gray Malin Turn Back Time With Fine Art Series

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The Spa, Beverly Hills Hotel
The Spa, Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

In-demand photographer Gray Malin has shot a throwback series at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel. The series marks the first time a professional fine art photographer has been permitted to shoot a collection at the property.

The production for the series Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel — Malin’s largest shoot to date — took place over three days. It saw the photographer creating scenes that reflected the glamorous golden age of Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s.

GrayMalin_BHH_portrait
Gray Malin

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

With the hotel’s timeless setting as his muse, Malin composed vignettes of models in vintage wardrobe and props. Some of The Beverly Hills Hotel’s most famous locations were scouted for the shoot, including the romantic and private bungalows, the legendary Polo Lounge and lush surrounding grounds.

Welcome to The Beverly Hills Hotel
Welcome to The Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

“I have long been inspired by the jet set lifestyle and splendid luxury of The Beverly Hills Hotel,” explains the photographer. “The perfectly manicured grounds, perennial banana leaf wallpaper and glimpse of famous faces make every visit to the hotel incredibly special.”

The Ladies Man, Beverly Hills Hotel
The Ladies Man, Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

He continues, “My goal was to capture the spirit of the property, as well as challenge myself by expanding more into the realm of stylized photographs using props and people in candid yet staged moments.”

Strike a Pose, Beverly Hills Hotel
Strike a Pose, Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

Known for his bright, colorful and whimsical style, Malin is based in Los Angeles but his work has taken him across the globe. In 2016 he released his first monograph, the New York Times bestseller Beaches, for which he shot shoreline in 20 cities on six different continents over a period of five years.

Poolside at The Beverly Hills Hotel
Poolside at The Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

In addition to shooting fine art, Malin has collaborated on campaigns for brands like Veuve Clicquot and Sperry Top-Sider. Additional beloved series have had Malin photographing the Cote d’Azur, la dolce vita on the Italian Riviera, the Prada Marfa art installation and the salt flats of Bolivia.

Lounging Ladies, Beverly Hills Hotel
Lounging Ladies, Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

With Malin’s artistic affinity for the Golden Era and vintage glamour, The Beverly Hills Hotel seems a natural fit. Located in the 90210 on Sunset Boulevard and a short distance from Rodeo Drive, the famously pink and green property first opened in 1912 and has been a Dorchester Collection hotel since 1996. Over the years the hotel and its Polo Lounge have hosted many members of Hollywood elite; in the ’50s and ’60s such guests included Princess MargaretGrace KellyJohn WayneHenry FondaFrank SinatraElizabeth TaylorDean MartinMarilyn Monroe and many others.

Girl at the Cabana Cafe, Beverly Hills Hotel
Girl at the Cabana Cafe, Beverly Hills Hotel

Photo Credit: © Gray Malin

Images from the new series Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel will debut on the red carpet entry at The Beverly Hills Hotel October 15-26. Signed and numbered prints will be available as limited editions on the photographer’s website and at the Signature Shop at The Beverly Hills Hotel beginning October 16.

To celebrate the special series, we chatted with Gray Malin about the complexities of the shoot, society’s enduring fascination with Hollywood glamour, and what’s really his favorite color.

How long was your pre-production period?

This series was one year in the making. It began with my inspiration, the hotel itself and the idea to create a series that would transport the viewer into my personal interpretation of the Golden Era — filled with an attractive jet-set crowd decked out in vintage wardrobe and props from the 1950s and 1960s enjoying everything The Beverly Hills Hotel has to offer.

From conceptualizing individual shots to location scouting within the hotel’s grounds to working with a professional below the line team of a wardrobe designer, prop stylist, lighting and hair, and makeup artists and lastly, casting the talent — my team and I meticulously planned every component of this shoot.

What were the challenges of this shoot?

Considering it was my largest shoot to date, the key was to prepare as best as possible ahead of time. Over the course of the three-day shoot, we had about 25 people on set at any given time. While I was shooting one setup, my team would be readying the models and prepping the location that we’d be moving to next. Luckily, I already expect the unexpected on shoots, so I am happy to report that there was no major hiccups.

How long would you spend in some of these sets until you were satisfied you had a winning shot?

For most of the locations it would take our team, along with help from the prop stylist and the lighting specialist, about a half hour of setup and then I would spend around an hour shooting each vignette to ensure I got the perfect shot.

Why do you think this golden age of Hollywood has had such enduring appeal?

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 12 years now and I still get excited every time I visit The Beverly Hills Hotel. The history of the property and its numerous legendary guests really made shooting on location there extremely special. I think the appeal of the golden era of Hollywood endures because people love the escapism and glamour — that timeless jet-set life.

You use color boldly in your work. And your home has pops of color too. Do you have a favorite shade?

Yes, I am a huge fan of incorporating pops of color within my interior decor choices, especially in contrast with a neutral color. In both my previous home and the new one, I would have to say that I favor blue hues, particularly a rich navy. This is especially evident in my newly finished master bedroom and bathroom which incorporates shades of blue and neutrals as well as layered textures and patterns. As for that pop of color, it can’t be missed! The fireplace was painted from a standard white to the vivid shade of navy blue named Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball.

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