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Hollywood in Berlin

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Through to August 14, 2022, the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin presents the showcase ‘HOLLYWOOD Stars at the Berlinale’ with works by Gerhard Kassner.

Every year, major Hollywood celebrities are among those who congregate in Berlin for the city’s International Film Festival – simply known as the Berlinale. In 2003, the organisers assigned Gerhard Kassner to serve as the festival’s official portraitist, capturing the participating actors, directors, jurors, producers and other leading personalities from the film industry. For almost 20 years, the German photographer has portrayed countless Hollywood celebrities in a small, makeshift studio – usually with only a few minutes allocated to this task, often with restless agents waiting to whisk the stars away to their next scheduled event.

And yet, Kassner’s portraits emanate a sense of intimacy and genuine empathy for his subjects. A person’s face is as indicative of their individuality as their expressive gestures: the latter are used sparingly, but pointedly. In some of his pictures, Kassner manages to look behind the facade of professional cool and aloofness – transforming and humanising those who otherwise appear so unapproachable.

Helmut Newton Foundation and Gerhard Kassner

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