Book Club: The Allure of "Poolside" by Slim Aarons, Capturing the Glitz and Glamour of the Good Life
Slim Aarons, a renowned 20th-century photographer, spent much of his career chronicling the lives of the glamorous elite. From celebrities to socialites, Aarons had a knack for capturing the essence of luxury. One of his most iconic collections is "Poolside," a vivid portrayal of sun-soaked leisure against the backdrop of shimmering turquoise pools.
Slim Aarons's "Poolside" offers readers a sunlit journey through the most opulent residences and resorts around the world. It's a timeless tribute to a world where leisure is an art form. Each photograph encapsulates the hedonistic revelries of the 20th century's upper echelons — from Hollywood stars to European aristocracy.
The scenes are set in lavish locales, from Beverly Hills mansions to villas in the South of France. Yet, the focus is not just the architectural grandeur or even the sprawling landscapes; it's the people and their curated, carefree moments that are center stage.
Aarons had an uncanny ability to make the staged appear candid, and the candid appear staged. His images in "Poolside" are no different. The compositions are meticulously crafted, with each element — be it a stretched-out sunbather, a poised diver, or a cocktail in hand — serving a purpose.
Despite the staged nature of many of his photos, there's an authentic joy that permeates them. Aarons's subjects aren't just posing; they're reveling in their surroundings, truly living the "good life."
"Poolside" is not just a visual treat; it's a narrative. With each image, Aarons tells a story — of endless summers, of parties that stretch into dawn, of a world where worries are as fleeting as champagne bubbles. It's this narrative that grants the collection its timeless appeal. While the fashion and faces might belong to a bygone era, the desire for relaxation, luxury, and fun is universal.
Aarons once remarked, "I have concentrated on photographing attractive people who were doing attractive things in attractive places." "Poolside" is a testament to this philosophy. However, it's also a reflection of Aarons's technical prowess, his understanding of light and shadow, and his innate ability to capture the zeitgeist of the age.
In "Poolside," Slim Aarons didn't just document the glamorous lives of the 20th century's elite; he immortalized them. Through his lens, every sunlit moment, every gleaming smile, and every shimmering pool becomes a symbol of an era of opulence and the eternal human desire for leisure and luxury.
Poolside is available on the shop, order it here