Press prints and publicity shots are what comprises this series of photographs, from the private collection of Martin Parr. Snapshots of celebrities from the post-war decade, the markings on these photos were standard at the time and indicated where to crop and make edits for publishing in magazines and newspapers.
Shown above are John Lennon and Yoko Ono, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Marlene Dietrich. They are good historical documents as they give insight into how things were done before photo-editing software.
From the private collection of Michael Parr, these images were found in second-hand stores and flea-markets across the United States. Parr states that “they are remnants of the old analogue world” and that the allure to these seemingly destroyed photographs is that they are shown in their entirety and aren’t the polished pieces we’ve encountered time-and-time again. A raw, real, look, if you will, at the unglamorous aspects of Hollywood, which we often forget exist.
The grease pencil markings (also known as chinagraph markings), drawn by the photography editors of publications, back in the day, indicate where edits were to be made for the reproduction that would appear in the final copy of the newspaper or magazine.
The photos are currently being shown at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery. The exhibition is called Painted Photographs and will be on display till mid-March.
Also, check out this BBC article on Parr’s collection.