When actor Jack Nicholson showed up to his photo shoot wearing a red clown nose, Martin Schoeller did what any photographer would do and snapped the picture. When the entertainment value wore off, the portrait artist asked Nicholson to remove the nose. The moment Schoeller then captured now hangs in the "Portraiture Now: Feature Photography" exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Schoeller, a staff photographer at the New Yorker, discusses the stories behind his portraits, which include subjects like Nicholson, actress Angelina Jolie and President-elect Barack Obama, in an audio slideshow featured this week on the magazine’s Web site.
Schoeller’s commentary provides an interesting perspective on these famous faces. "He looked so much younger then," he says of Obama, who Schoeller first photographed in 2004 while the President-elect was running for Senate, "He already has aged so much in the last four years from the campaign trail."
The other voice featured in the slideshow is a second New Yorker staff photographer, Steve Pyke, whose black-and-white portraits of subjects like actor Sir Ian McKellen and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger are also in the Portrait Gallery exhibit.
"Portraiture Now: Feature Photography" will run through September 27, 2009. View the exhibit online at the National Portrait Gallery's site.