by Electric Gallery
Friday 11 June 2021

As part of Electric's exclusive new partnership with Getty Images Gallery, we profile the amazing life of photographer Slim Aarons who captured the rich, famous and powerful at play in the 1960s and 70s - and in the process created some of the most enduring and stylish images in the history of photography.

Slim was born George Aarons in 1916. He earned his nickname first in the US Army where his tall, slender good looks marked him out from the other squaddies. The army was where he honed his photographic skills as combat snapper. He later said that war taught him the only beach worth landing on was "decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun."

After World War II Slim travelled across America, picking up assignments from big magazines of the era such as Life, to photograph celebrities and high-flyers.

He famously never used a stylist or a make-up artist on any of his shoots. Instead, he said just photographed "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places."

One of his most famous and enduring shoots was 1970's Poolside Gossip, shot at the Kaufmann desert house with owner Nelda Linsk as one of the models in the photo (see main photo above. Credit: Slim Aarons/Getty Images Gallery). "I knew everyone," Slim said in an interview with The Independent many years later. "They would invite me to one of their parties because they knew I wouldn't hurt them. I was one of them."

In 1974 a book was published which captured Slim's work at its colourful best. It was called A Wonderful Time and it was a thick hardback which - at the time - sold only modestly. It wasn't until a decade or two later that his work really began to accelerate in value by which time the original books were changing hands for many hundreds of dollars. Now, you can expect to pay in excess of $2,000 for a mint condition copy.

In 1997, Mark Getty, founder and Chairman of Getty Images visited Aarons in his home and bought his entire archive to preserve it for the future.

And Electric has some of his best work on display as part of the ELECTRIC x Getty Images Gallery exhibition, including the two pieces below:

This was from a beach shoot in Mexico in 1970. Slim's great talent was to capture natural yet super-stylish imagery. (Credit: Slim Aarons/Getty Images Gallery)

In this remarkable photo from 1967, Slim captured film producer Kevin McClory taking his wife Bobo and their family for a drive in an 'Amphicar' across the harbour at Nassau. Contrary to popular belief this wasn't a set-up shot - the kids were genuinely on their way to school. (Credit: Slim Aarons/Getty Images Gallery)

Electric Gallery is delighted to offer premium quality photographic prints from the Slim Aarons Collection. All photographs are printed, issued and authorized by the Slim Aarons Archive. Electric works in close partnership with the Getty Images Gallery and Slim Aarons Estate to offer officially certified prints from this iconic photographer of the 20th Century.

Recent news