l.a.Eyeworks announces the publication of FRAMED, an extensive, lavishly printed survey of photographer Greg Gorman’s timeless artistry, and a catalogue of the provocative personalities that have defined l.a.Eyeworks’ idiosyncratic take on contemporary culture from 1982 to the present. A fleet of 171 fabulous faces are gathered together for the first time in this much-anticipated hardcover volume. As a spectacular demonstration of Gorman’s signature command of the black and white portrait, FRAMED presents an astonishing array of bold personalities transformed by the groundbreaking eyewear designs of Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi for l.a.Eyeworks. The iconic portraits that comprise the l.a.Eyeworks advertising campaign define both a significant chapter in the history of eyewear and an influential re imagining of the concept of celebrity endorsement. With portrait subjects ranging from mega-bright stars to the lesser-known orbits of the avant-garde, FRAMED is a compelling glimpse into three decades of culture, glamour, fashion, . . and great glasses. Or, as the legendary tagline states quite simply, “A face is like a work of art. It deserves a great frame.”
l.a.Eyeworks Campaign History
The portrait ad campaign launched in the early ‘80s when l.a.Eyeworks was generating waves of go-to buzz as a retail storefront on Melrose Avenue—a street that would map itself into history as the global focal point for the West Coast punk and new wave movements. At that time, Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine was the barometer of all things hip on the cultural radar. The l.a.Eyeworks ad campaign was born of the slightly outrageous idea of a single shop in Los Angeles taking a full-page ad in this notorious national magazine. Jeff Gorman and Gary Johns created the enduring tagline and the graphic layout (which has run largely unaltered since its inception). A photographer in rapidly growing demand, Greg Gorman shot his first portrait for the campaign in 1982. The subject was actor Paul Reubens from The Groundlings improv theater, (located just two blocks away from l.a.Eyeworks) who starred in the ad as his cult figure persona, Pee-wee Herman. The photo featured Herman wearing “The Beat,” McReynolds’ and Gherardi’s first frame design for l.a.Eyeworks. As the portrait ads began to appear in Interview and other periodicals, they created an instant sensation, and have since run continuously in print publications worldwide. With more than 200 subjects in its canon (171 are published in FRAMED), perhaps no other print campaign operating under a single tagline can lay claim to the diversity and duration of this unique legacy.
The combination of Greg Gorman’s artistry and l.a.Eyeworks’ iconoclastic frame designs creates a vibrant alchemy of generation-defining images. Celebration of the face guides the portraits and the campaign not only blurs the lines between high and low culture, pop and fine art, celebrity and the underground, but makes those distinctions irrelevant. Legends like Sharon Stone, John Waters, Iman, Pierce Brosnan, Frank Zappa and Grace Jones mingle on the same turf as Louise Lecavalier, Buck Henry, Patricia Hearst, John Sex, Elizabeth Streb and the Chinese women’s basketball player Zheng Haixa. The l.a.Eyeworks portrait ad campaign interrogated, as much as it celebrated, notions of fame, beauty, gender, and attraction-all seen through the prism of glasses. McReynolds and Gherardi note in their introductory essay to FRAMED,
“We have been guided less by celebrity and more by the exotic, the outrageous, the
re-invented, the overlooked, the idiosyncratic, the colorful, the uncensored, and the rule
Performer/artist John Kelly, fashion designer Phillipe Blond, model/media figure Jenny Shimizu, and Cirque du Soleil aerialists Kevin and Andrew Atherton are among the most recent additions to the campaign’s roster of participants.
FRAMED is published by Grafiche Damiani in Italy in an exclusive hardcover edition. Greg Gorman personally supervised the printing of the photographs.
FRAMED: Greg Gorman for l.a.Eyeworks (Grafiche Damiani, 2011), hardcover, 192 pages. Foreword by Ingrid Sischy. Introductory essays by David Fahey, Greg Gorman, Barbara McReynolds & Gai Gherardi, Rose Apodaca, Jeff Gorman, Gary Johns. US $50; EU €35. Currently available for purchase in the U.S. at www.laeyeworks.com/framed and at l.a.Eyeworks retail stores in Los Angeles. For purchase inquiries worldwide, contact email@example.com.
Radically disrupting mere utility, the Women of l.a.Eyeworks reinvented the proportionality of the “Face.” Never again will the lines holding the ability to “see better” seem ordinary. — Elizabeth Streb
Established in 1979 as the first house of optical design in Los Angeles, l.a.Eyeworks’ imaginative and uniquely crafted frames—designed by co- founders Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi—have changed the way people think about eyewear. In addition to its groundbreaking ideas for glasses, l.a.Eyeworks’ pursuit of “uncensored visions” has redefined perceptions with explosive marketing concepts, including its signature advertising campaign photographed by Greg Gorman. Known to frame lovers worldwide, the outrageous, expressive lexicon of l.a.Eyeworks has infiltrated the pop culture landscape from fashion to publishing to art and film.
About Greg Gorman
Greg Gorman and l.a.Eyeworks are a winning combination. Greg’s legendary images made you want to be a movie star, and in turn, his photos made movie stars. But that is just a small facet in the trajectory of a unique career that has withstood the test of time. Through his lens, Greg captures the beauty of the human face like no other. A photographic portrait artist who puts his heart and soul into his art, Greg lives his life with passion and grace, courage and compassion, and loves a good wine. — Pierce Brosnan
Over the past 40 years, Greg Gorman has photographed famous and infamous faces for film, music, politics, sports, advertising and pleasure. Greg continues to seek out projects worldwide that both grant him new experiences and provoke his inspiration. Between spending time at his homes in Los Angeles and Mendocino, where he also teaches, Greg conducts workshops and lectures internationally, and hosts exhibitions of his fine art photography. This compilation follows Greg’s previously published works Volume I, Volume II, Inside Life, Perspectives, As I See It, Just Between Us, The Odes of Pindar and In Their Youth.