Franca Sozzani, Andy Warhol, Bob Colacello and Madonna

by Chris Murray on December 26, 2016

“She had the best eye for photography.” – Peter Lindbergh

franca-sozzani_peter-lindbergh Franca Sozzani, Café de Flore, 2012. © Peter Lindbergh.

© Italian Vogue, February 1991.

25 years ago, Italian Vogue published a feature story on my lifelong friend, Bob Colacello. Bob and I met in college in 1965 at Georgetown University, and have remained friends ever since. The cover story in that issue of Italian Vogue was about Madonna and that feature story had several pages of great photos as did the story on Bob Colacello.

© Madonna, 1990. © Steven Meisel.

Franca Sozzani, who passed away last week, had been editing Italian Vogue for only a couple of years when she published those stories on Bob and Madonna. To look back at that issue now proves what photographer Peter Lindbergh said about Franca’s eye for good photography.

©  Italian Vogue double-page spread, February 1991.

The layout for the story on Bob Colacello opened with a double-page spread of an image of him with his boss at the time, Andy Warhol, and myself, all of us wearing women’s hats for a photo project called American Beauty by Paul Weiss, a student in the photography program at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington.

Chris Murray and his 1961 Chysler Newport, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980.
© Chris Makos.

In 1979 I drove Andy and Bob to the Corcoran Gallery of Art for a book signing for Exposures, Andy Warhol’s book of photographs with text by Andy and Bob. I drove them in my 1961 Chrysler Newport. The art director of that project was Chris Makos, who has had six exhibitions at Govinda Gallery.

Paul Weiss approached me at the book signing and asked me if Andy would pose for some photos for his American Beauty project. Andy agreed, and Paul took some terrific photos. Franca Sozzani loved that photograph and featured it in that issue of Italian Vogue.

© Bob Colacello, Andy Warhol and Chris Murray, Corcoran School of Art, 1979. © Paul Weiss.

Fashion stylist Lori Goldstein said of Franca Sozzani and her influence that “She wasn’t trying to be revolutionary. She just was.”

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