All photos are exquisitely rare and possess a behind-the-scenes intimacy that takes them worlds beyond celebrity portraiture. This SFAE exhibit showcases for the first time ever the combined work from the two exceptional archives of Cooper and Tarlé – both members of the Rolling Stones' inner circle. The unprecedented show will feature approximately sixty limited edition images.
Tarlé's photos were taken while the Rolling Stones were on exile from England in 1971. Keith Richards had set up house at Villa Nellcote in the South of France, the location where the band's famous album Exile On Main Street was recorded. As a young photographer, Tarlé was invited to lunch at the villa and then to stay through the next 6 months - a pretty incredible story! Actor Jake Weber (who plays Patricia Arquette's husband on NBC Television's Medium) also spent the summer at Nellcôte with his father Tommy Weber, then a Stones' insider. Jake was just eight and is seen in many of the images with members of the Rolling Stones. Anita Pallenberg, Keith Richards common law wife at the time, has said these images are the most intimate photos taken of the group. It was as if Tarlé was the family photographer; he captured a very special time – and possibly the most decadent house party - in Rock and Roll history.
Michael Cooper's work is said to be the "best evidence yet of the cultural ferment between art and music in the 1960s." Central to the scene that passed before his lens with the Stones, Cooper had extraordinary access given his tight friendship with Keith Richards. Cooper's cover shot for Their Satanic Majesties Request (he also did the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album) is among the photographs included in this exhibition, as are photographs of the Stones – including Brian Jones – in London, at Stonehenge and on holiday in California and Morocco. Cooper took his own life in 1973 at age 31, leaving an archive of over 70,000 images to his son Adam along with a note saying, "they will eventually be worth something." About 600 of them were published in the long-sold out limited edition book Blinds And Shutters (1989, Genesis Publications), but most of them have never been seen, much less exhibited.