Harry Benson. The Beatles and beyond

From September 19th to January 19th 2020

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography presents the first exhibition in Russia by thephotojournalist Harry Benson, who created the iconic photographs of The Beatles and the portraits of all the American presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Donald Trump.

Harry Benson. Beatles Pillow Fight, 1964

The main part of the exhibition are photographs of The Beatles, with whom Benson worked from 1964 to 1966. It was these years that were the most important for the entire career of the Liverpool Four —the most productive and successful. Over that period, the group became a legend in world music, and Beatlemania swept the world. After the first trip with The Beatles to the USA in 1964, Benson’s life was divided into before and after. He decided to stay in America forever and in his photographs reflected an entire era of American history: he was just feet away from Bobby Kennedy the night he was assassinated; in the room with Richard Nixon when he resigned; on the Meredith march with Martin Luther King, Jr. The exhibition presents portraits of many eminent figures from the sphere of politics, cinema, music, and sports from the 1960s to 1990s, including the famous Clintons’ Kiss, the dance of the Reagan couple, Arnold Schwarzenegger jumping out of the water. Benson's photographs are like himself: they are full of action, emotions, smiles and humor. "I want photos that are spontaneous. I'm after pictures with surprise, pictures with air in them, pictures that let people be themselves. I don't want to impose on them just what I think they are", he says. With his energy, perseverance and curiosity, Benson always managed to collect unique material, and his reports were the first to appear on the pages of magazines and covers of Life, Vanity Fair, People, TIME, The Daily Express and The New Yorker. Swift, always ready to take off and get involved in an adventure, Benson never gave up in the face of difficulties: “Too many photographers dance around the edges of a story", Harry likes to say: “They're afraid of the center. I go for the heart of the story the minute I get off the plane.”