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The Eye of The Sixties: Meet Roger Kasparian

“Oh, you guys weren’t even born at that time! It was 50 years ago, The Beatles, right… It’s nice to see young people here!” That’s how Roger Kasparian greeted us at the opening of his exhibition at the Artclub Gallery, while we were looking at his Beatles pictures displayed on the walls. In this small gallery of Lyon, France, we discovered some stunning film pictures of many iconic artists from the sixties; the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Serge Gainsbourg, and Françoise Hardy. That day, the Parisian photographer seemed really happy to be there, walking around, chatting with people about his work, sharing his memories.

Paul McCartney, Hotel Georges V, Paris, 1965

“That day, he (McCartney) was probably thinking  “What does this guy want ?”, but I didn’t let him leave before I had my picture! It’s crazy how his eyes are piercing through you.”
At the time, those young artists were at the beginning of their career. That allowed Kasparian to take advantage of their accessibility. Kasparian was almost completely alone while waiting for them at the Aéroport du Bourget. He took their pictures that day while wandering through the streets of Paris. This proximity and intimacy, I think, can be felt through the pictures.

The Rolling Stones, near the Grand Palais, Paris, 1964

Serge Gainsbourg, Paris, 1963

“With him (Serge Gainsbourg), I only had like 30 minutes to work.”

My friends and I, all children of huge Beatles fans, and big Beatles fan’s ourselves, truly enjoyed meeting him. We appreciated how friendly he was and hearing all the incredible stories he had to tell. He has remained so humble through all of his success. My friend asked him for an autograph, caught off guard he replied: “Oh, but why do you want an autograph from me?”

If you’re interested in seeing more about Roger Kasparian’s work, here’s a link to his book (the text is in French, but you may still want to get it for the stunning pictures): https://www.amazon.fr/Archives-in%C3%A9dites-dun-photographe-Sixties/dp/2324006960/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496329034&sr=1-1&keywords=roger+kasparian