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Book: Paparazzo – The Elio Sorci Collection

Walter Chiari Paparazzo cover
Actor and former boxer Walter Chiari (left) chases after photographer Tazio Secchiaroli (right) along the Via Veneto, Rome, Italy, 1958. Chiari became enraged when Secchiaroli photographed him on a night out with Ava Gardner. The scene was captured by Secchiaroli’s partner, Elio Sorci, in a sequence of pictures that saw the emergence of paparazzi photography. © Elio Sorci/Camera Press

London based photo agency Camera Press are currently digitising the Archive of paparazzo Elio Sorci. Specialist publishing house Roads have made a wonderfull edit and produced a book around the Sorci archive called PAPARAZZO. They say: ‘Paparazzo is the first definitive collection of his award-winning work across four decades. Each frame capturesthe vitality and excitement of ‘la Dolce Vita’, while revealing something of the charm, vivacity, intuition, and tenacity of the man himself.’

↑ Watch Roads’ Sorci film

More on the book:
The post-Fascist Italy of the early 1950s saw an explosion in international film production, and as stars flocked to Rome – followed by models, playboys, and monarchs – the city was transformed. Therich and beautiful congregated in villas, nightclubs and Via Veneto cafés, and the media was quick to capitalise on the drama of these glamorous personalities. A small band of press photographers were the very first to document this ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ phenomenon, and in doing so they revolutionised their art form forever. Their methods were new, rapid and inventive; they worked hard and fast to be the first on the picture desks and from there, the front pages of the world’s papers. These men would later be dubbed the ‘paparazzi’, and they changed the face of photojournalism. Among their number was Elio Sorci.
Sorci was a strategic mastermind, with an independent spirit and unparalleled appetite for adventure that made him a leader in his field. His was the image that finally confirmed the Elizabeth Taylor – Richard Burton affair. His photograph of fellow paparazzo Tazio Secchiaroli being chased by the antagonised Walter Chiari set a radical precedent for modern paparazzi photography. Stripped-back images depict this world just as it was, often tinged with vulgarity and essentially superficial, but thrilling, compelling, and seductive.

• Now Available Hardback £60 eu75 ISBN 978-1-909399-42-6 from Waterstones and all good bookshops.
• Also available as a Limited Edition which features an archival quality fine art print (£1,000 Eu 1,250).)
PAN has a copy of PAPARAZZO winging it’s way to the office – let you know how it looks in the flesh soon …..