It’s a testament, then, to photographer Mary McCartney’s skill that her image of Paltrow styled as a Blond Ambition-Tour era Madonna transports every inch of her into the conical breasted provocateur of the woman she’s aping.
McCartney’s knack to create images that at once seem stark and candidly intimate is to be showcased in a new exhibition opening this week at The Lowry in Salford, featuring images of women including Marianne Faithful, Joni Mitchell, Björk and Helen Mirren.
The show, entitled Developing: Photographs by Mary McCartney will feature previously unseen photographs alongside images from publications such as Harper¹s Bazaar and Vogue. She’s more than just Paul and Linda’s daughter, then.
It’s an almost exclusively female cast – with the exception of Morrissey, and a few others – shot in a way that strikes a balance between spontaneity and performance.
Many of the subjects are playing a role: as with Gwyneth, Tracey Emin is dressing up. She becomes Frida Kahlo (an acknowledgement, perhaps, of a certain similarity to the notoriously heavy browed artist); while Beth Ditto, singer with The Gossip is by contract very much dressed down, captured sporting nothing but a bed sheet.
Other highlights are this gorgeous image of a ballerina perched in a sink:
And the wonderfully off-beat expression of Vivienne Westwood captured here:
The show forms part of The Lowry’s Radical Women Month series of exhibitions and events, and quite rightly so. McCartney’s women are certainly radical – and rendered even more when seen through her lens.
Developing: Photographs by Mary McCartney runs until 9 June The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays M50