Photographs are often windows into worlds that do not exist – the Kodachrome colors and selective subject matter can skew depictions into surreality but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Slim Aarons’ photography remains just as alluring today as it was 40 years ago in part because of its detachment from reality. The world as Aarons presents it is a place of aristocratic faces and exotic locales – a land of indulgence and escapism, replete with sensory delights. The heightened colors burst from each picture in a clash of vibrancy – a shock of red shawl as Jacqueline Kennedy attends a gala, water and sky fighting to see who can be bluer as CZ Guest lounges in the foreground. The people in Aaron’s images are always mingling or lounging – either by the pool or within the palatial confines of their stately homes. It is as though they are on an endless and effortless holiday.
Its all an illusion of course – real life is hardly ever as grand as a picture can be but when the skies are gray and the world complicated its always heartening to stare at an Aarons picture and dream of all that could be.