The loss of Terry O’Neill has been felt keenly by people all over the world, from those who had met and admired him to generations of others he inspired with his work. Artist Simon Claridge falls into both categories, especially after finally meeting his idol when they collaborated in 2017.
In a career spanning more than half a century, the legendary British photographer pioneered the iconic celebrity portrait and became famed for his instinct and ability to capture his subjects in candid, and sometimes unorthodox, poses and locations. Charismatic and charming, O’Neill possessed the elusive quality that put people at ease in his presence.
His portraits, which can be found hanging in public and private collections around the world, are a visual timeline chronicling the movements of the Hollywood elite, rock and roll stars and even royalty. He was credited with changing the face of photography, and recognised by The Royal Society of Arts with a rare Centenary Medal, of which only one dozen have ever been awarded.
His legend lives on today through his work, which we are certain will continue to remain on the walls of galleries, museums and homes for a great many years to come.
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