Glenn O’Brien, The Photographs of Ron Galella, 1965-1989
And yet ... the two were co-conspirators when it came to her legend. He claims to have selected only flattering photographs of Onassis, and either he was telling the truth, or she was the most photogenic women of her generation (and perhaps she was). In any case, without his candid snapshots, the record of her most incandescent and fascinating years would be incomplete. No one captured the former first lady's natural beauty like Ron Galella.
There might have been more talented photographers but certainly no one with his audacity, his shamelessness. The result was something utterly unique that the world might never see again. Da Vinci might have had his Mona Lisa, but Galella had his Jacqueline.
The most comprehensive and elegantly produced book of Ron Galella's work is Greybull Press's The Photographs of Ron Galella, 1965-1989. The copy he affectionately inscribed to Elizabeth Taylor is available via the Nick Harvill Libraries store. It is the only one of four books from Taylor's library that we acquired that has not yet sold. Elizabeth Taylor, by the way, was after Jackie Galella's most bankable celebrity.