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Photographer Mark Seliger reveals true that means behind Obama portrait



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One of many world’s pre­eminent portrait photographers, Mark Seliger has photographed everybody from the Crimson Scorching Chili Peppers — nude — to the Dalai Lama to Oscar winners, typically for shiny titles comparable to Rolling Stone and Vainness Truthful. Working with RADArt4Aid, a company that distributed donations to numerous charities, Seliger, 61, auctioned off 26 of his basic photographs to profit COVID-19 aid efforts.

Christie’s wrapped up bids this week, producing a complete of $232,375.

Right here, Seliger shares the tales behind a couple of of them.

Jennifer Lopez: $11,875 for America’s Meals Fund

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer LopezMark Seliger

For a 2001 Rolling Stone profile, Seliger had a jungle set constructed inside his Manhattan studio, taking inspiration from the illustrations of fantasy/sci-fi illustrator Frank Frazetta. Then he augmented all of it with a pair of leopards. Although Lopez “cherished the concept,” Seliger informed The Submit, “I don’t assume she cherished [the leopards].” Nonetheless, J.Lo placed on her greatest face and made it work. “I don’t assume we even mentioned what the angle could be aside from that she was a provocative, sturdy, warrior queen,” Seliger recalled.

Brad Pitt: $15,000 for Meals on Wheels

Brad Pitt
Brad PittMark Seliger

“Tall timber” was Pitt’s concept for a 2014 Particulars shoot. “We discovered this space, Avenue of the Giants [in Northern California], the place redwoods line the freeway. Brad obtained on his bike and began driving,” Seliger mentioned. “My producer drove and I laid on the roof of our automotive, taking pictures as Brad cruised subsequent to us. I do my very own stunts.”

Barack Obama: $37,500 for World Central Kitchen

Barack Obama
Barack ObamaMark Seliger

Nearing the primary 100 days of his presidency, in 2009, Obama welcomed Seliger to the White Home for a Rolling Stone shoot. Seliger shot a forward-facing cowl picture, then shoe-horned in what he calls “the takeaway.” He had simply six minutes to seize it. “I informed him to regulate his shoulders and transfer his elbows out. And he mentioned, ‘OK. That’s sufficient artwork.’” Seliger felt the rear shot actually informed the story. “You can sense the load on his shoulders,” the photographer mentioned. “I marveled to him that [the White House] have to be an unbelievable place to get up every morning. He mentioned, ‘Not when you’ve three wars happening.’ ”

Tom Hanks: $6,250 for Hidden Heroes

Tom Hanks
Tom HanksMark Seliger

Simply earlier than “Forrest Gump” was launched, Hanks agreed to pose with a chimp for a 1994 story in Us journal. “It was attention-grabbing how in synch they have been with one another,” Seliger mentioned. “The chimp sat on Tom’s lap and commenced placing his arms on Tom’s face.” Immediately within the swing of issues, “Tom started making faces that corresponded with the place the chimp was placing his arms. Individuals at all times ask me if these are actual chimpanzee arms. I at all times refer them to the underside of the picture the place you’ll be able to see a bit little bit of the man from Tom’s lap,” the photographer added. “Tom informed me that this image, for the longest time, and possibly nonetheless, is the one that individuals most frequently ask him to signal.”

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This needed mobster ‘killed sufficient folks to fill a small cemetery’




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Few would acknowledge Matteo Messina Denaro on the road, however the Cosa Nostra chief is likely one of the most sought-after fugitives on the planet.

His reign of terror amped up in 1993, after authorities tracked down and arrested Sicilian mafia boss Salvatore “Toto” Riina, who had spent 23 years on the lam, in Palermo, Italy. Quickly after, his protégé Denaro allegedly performed a key function in ensuring there can be hell to pay for the pinch.

The revenge run was “an assault on Italy [and] Denaro’s craziest crime,” Cyprien d’Haese, co-director of a brand new episode of Netflix’s “World’s Most Needed” that dropped Wednesday, informed The Publish. Denaro and his blood-thirsty crew “put bombs in Milan, Rome and Florence. They blew up nationwide monuments and a museum,” d’Haese added. “It was their method of claiming, ‘We’re so highly effective. We are able to get anybody anyplace.’ ”

A precociously violent “baby-killer who realized to make use of a gun on the age of 14,” in keeping with ­d’Haese, Denaro allegedly assumed the godfather mantle in 2007, following the arrest of earlier chief Bernardo Provenzano.

Matteo Messina Denaro
Matteo Messina DenaroCourtesy of Netflix

Denaro is a good-looking girls man, whose tinted shades cover barely crossed “feline eyes.” He’s mentioned to be value billions, favors fancy wristwatches, owns a pack of Porsches and strictly avoids the digital camera lens.

He’s been working because the ’93 bombings and, as an Italian regulation enforcer mentioned on the present, “Matteo Messina Denaro is essentially the most needed fugitive within the Cosa Nostra.” His specialties? Murder, arson and terrorism. He’s even earned the nickname Diabolik, ripped from an unscrupulous Italian comic-book legal.

It’s a task that Denaro, 58, was born to play. His father, a high-ranking mafioso, handed him over to Riina for a bloody apprenticeship that started round his 18th birthday. Denaro rapidly established himself as a dependable foot soldier with a penchant for homicide. “Riina liked him,” mentioned d’Haese. “Denaro was informed to kill and he killed.”

The documentary claims that Denaro brags about having “killed sufficient folks to fill a small cemetery.” Amongst his victims: the younger boy of a turncoat who appeared poised to testify towards the mob, and a lodge supervisor with a watch for a girl whom Denaro fancied. He even had a hand in murdering a pair of anti-Mafia judges. As one in all them drove dwelling from an airport in Sicily, a stretch of freeway was blown up beneath him. The job was mentioned to have taken 1,100 to 2,000 kilos of explosives.

With a scary fame that retains folks in line — when authorities arrested Denaro’s girlfriend and sister, they each did their time and stayed mum about Diabolik — he’s mentioned to masterfully handle a core mob enterprise. The UK Day by day Mirror describes Denaro because the mastermind of heroin and cocaine importation into Europe from South America.

A computer rendition (right) of what Italian mafia fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro may look like in recent years, as compared to an old photo taken of him, July 4, 2011.
A pc rendition (proper) of what Italian mafia fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro might appear to be lately, as in comparison with an outdated picture taken of him, July 4, 2011.REUTERS

He’s additionally muscled his method into legit industries resembling inexperienced ­vitality and on-line playing, each of which he’s used to earn income and launder soiled cash.

Just a few years in the past, in keeping with d’Haese, a choose tried to show that Denaro owns a Sicilian chain of supermarkets. “Some folks say he creates jobs by working legit companies,” mentioned the documentary director. “However Denaro has an excessive amount of blood on his fingers to be legit.”

For all of Denaro’s cash and energy and fearsomeness, is he residing just like the wealthy and well-known? Is it good to be a kingpin? “Folks say he doesn’t have a great life,” d’Haese informed The Publish. “They suppose he’s on a small farm, hiding and frightened. He can not have a great life as a result of so many individuals are after him.”

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American model of ‘Eurovision’ contest coming to US in 2021




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Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams is probably not competing, however an American model of the wildly-popular “Eurovision” singing competitors is coming to the USA in 2021.

One of many world’s most-watched singing contest — and topic of the brand new Netflix comedy, “Eurovision” — has introduced that “The American Music Contest” will happen throughout 2021’s vacation season reviews CNN.

And though Eurovision itself was canceled this 12 months as a result of coronavirus pandemic, officers mentioned they can even convey again the competitors subsequent 12 months.

“The Eurovision Music Contest’s distinctive legacy dates again 65 years and its worldwide recognition remains to be rising,” mentioned Government Supervisor, Martin Österdahl.

“It’s time for America to expertise this spectacle, by way of its sister competitors, the American Music Contest,” Österdahl mentioned.

“Love of music is common and celebration of music in several genres and types can transcend boundaries and unite folks,” he mentioned.

“We’re excited to have discovered the correct companions to supply one other collection that our followers throughout the globe can fall in love with and to share this distinctive competitors with the American folks.”

Within the American contest, state winners will compete in a collection of qualifier competitions, “resulting in Semi-Finals and the last word primetime Grand Finale,” the Eurovision web site mentioned.

Competing acts will vary from solo artists to bands with not more than six members, officers mentioned. Judges shall be US-based artists from a variety of musical genres.

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Lorenzo Soria, president of Hollywood International Press Affiliation, lifeless at 68




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Lorenzo Soria, the president of the Hollywood International Press Affiliation — which runs the Golden Globe Awards — died Friday at his Los Angeles house, a member of the family informed Selection.

A reason for dying was not disclosed, the outlet reported.

The Argentina-born Soria was half-way by way of his newest three-year time period as president; he had served two earlier phrases as president.

“In his position working the HFPA, Soria would usually seem on the Globes broadcast, welcoming friends, and was a fixture on the early-morning nomination bulletins,” Selection famous.

Colleagues admired him for his humility, grace and kindness.

“Lorenzo was a beloved member of the leisure business and the Hollywood group and shall be sorely missed,” the HFPA stated in an announcement.

His household stated in an announcement, “His passing is a deep loss for us and for all who knew him and who have been blessed by his generosity, ardour and humorousness.”

“He was deeply dedicated to the film business’s energy to heal the world and shine a highlight on injustice. His contributions and friendship have been immense; he was a fighter whom we cherished deeply.”

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