Exhibit: Elizabeth Taylor in Iran
26 Jan 2011 10:03
In 1976, Taylor visited Iran for the first and presumably only time, accompanied by Firooz Zahedi, who would go on to become a celebrity photographer. Taylor visited a variety of sites, including ancient Persepolis, and was photographed as a tourist -- sometimes posing for the camera and other times disappearing (as much as a celebrity of her stature could at the time) into the scene.
"Elizabeth Taylor in Iran" will feature 32 photographs -- in color and black-and-white -- that will be on display on the fourth floor of the Ahmanson Building. Some of Zahedi's photographs show Taylor in traditional Persian dress that she purchased in Isfahan. Read full story
Accompanying her was Firooz Zahedi, today a successful Hollywood photographer but then a recent art school graduate just learning his craft. Iran provided an exotic and engaging locale for Taylor, a tireless global wanderer still at the height of her fame. For Zahedi, who had left Iran as a child, this was a reintroduction to his own country, which he experienced not only through the camera lens but through Taylor's eyes.
Grouped in narrative fashion, the images depict people and places with the actress as tourist but one so iconic that she is never anonymous even wrapped in a chador. In the Isfahan bazaar, Taylor was attracted to and purchased a traditional tribal outfit. Dressed in this colorful costume and in full make-up, the film star posed as an Oriental odalisque, an especially suitable persona for one who was herself a male fantasy. Though Zahedi was to photograph Taylor many times in the years following their Iran trip, none are as personal, candid, or creative as these unique images. Read full entry