Famous and framed

Best known for his intimate portraits of sleek celebrities, photographer Rankin has a knack for getting his subjects to abandon their public veneer and reveal something of their true personalities.

Beth Ditto

Source: Rankin

Beth Ditto

Indeed, Kate Moss said of the photographer, ‘Any time Rankin takes a picture, he knows what he wants and there is really no chance of being anyone but who you are, even if you try. You can trust him.’ As most of Rankin’s portraits of Moss see her scantily dressed with a seductive expression, perhaps we should conclude Miss Moss really is the fun-loving temptress advertisers would have us believe.

Robert Downey Jn

Source: Rankin

Robert Downey Jn

But it’s not just supermodels that Rankin has captured on film over the past few decades. The Queen, Madonna, Ricky Gervais, Gorbachev, Blair and Brown have all posed for him, and will be featured in a new book and exhibition that launches next week at London’s Annroy Gallery.

Although the book, called Portraits, may be destined for the coffee table, it will no doubt serve as a good introduction to Rankin for the beginner or as an interesting anthology for those fascinated by modern celebrity and pop culture. Let’s just hope Gordon Brown, unlike Moss, remained fully clothed for his shoot.

Portraits runs from 18 June to 18 July at Annroy Gallery, Rankin’s own Kentish Town space. The book is available from bookshops and via www.turnaround-uk.com, priced £40

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