Stathis Orphanos has photographed many of today's top cultural and entertainment figures, including over one hundred authors such as Erskine Caldwell, John Cheever, Graham Greene, John Irving, Christopher Isherwood, Norman Mailer, Sir Stephen Spender, William Styron, John Updike, Gore Vidal, and Nobel laureates Odysseus Elytis of Greece and Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt. His portraits of famous artists and photographers include Don Bachardy, Leonard Baskin, Paul Cadmus, Horst P. Horst, David Hockney, Elaine De Kooning, Larry Rivers, and the legendary Greek painter and designer (for Maria Callas opera productions) Yannis Tsarouchis. His show business portraits feature directors George Cukor, Jules Dassin, Costa Gavras, Jose Quintero, John Schlesinger, Roger Vadim, actresses Claire Bloom, Julie Harris, Lizabeth Scott, Melina Mercouri (former Minister of Culture of Greece), and "New Breed" actors such as Maxwell Caulfield and Esai Morales.

There is also a series of spontaneous photographs depicting the locker room activities of a professional soccer team and a series on sailors and marines taken in a San Diego naval base and at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base.

Stathis Orphanos was born in North Carolina of Greek parents and currently resides in Los Angeles and at his home on the Greek island of Samos. His portraits have been seen on many book jackets, including the poet James Dickey's ambitious second novel ALNILAM and William Styron's DARKNESS VISIBLE, as well as illustrating Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Lear's magazine features, in literary journals such as Antaeus and The Ontario Review (a selection presented by author Joyce Carol Oates), and for publicity purposes. His first photography exhibition (in San Diego County in 1988) resulted in an extensive front-page Los Angeles Times Calendar interview. His second exhibition (in Los Angeles in 1989) was sponsored by the late Shirley Burden, a great great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and the former Chairman of the Department of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art. In 1990, from October through December, a combined exhibition of Orphanos photographs and limited-edition books, published with partner Ralph Sylvester, were shown at UCLA. Issued with the exhibition, held at the University Research Library's Department of Special Collections, was a definitive, illustrated catalogue that included tributes to Orphanos' photography by Julie Harris, Lizabeth Scott, and Esai Morales, and to the partners Sylvester & Orphanos by Graham Greene (his last official written exercise) and Melina Mercouri. In 1996 a major retrospective of Stathis Orphanos' photographs were exhibited at the Beverly Hills Civic Center.

Orphanos is also the publisher (with partner Ralph Sylvester) of twenty-five limited-signed edition books of authors such as Paul Bowles, John Cheever, Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, Christopher Isherwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, William Styron, John Updike, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams. An elaborate forthcoming publication, TSAROUCHIS, THE FACE OF MODERN GREECE, will be devoted to the late Greek artist Yannis Tsarouchis. It will include thirty-two color plates as well as tributes by eighteen major world figures in the arts, including Melina Mercouri (preface), David Hockney, Odysseus Elytis, Sir Stephen Spender, John Updike, the photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and Horst, and many others. The book will be limited to 350 copies, signed by all the contributors.

Featured in an April 14, 1991 Los Angeles Sunday Times Calendar section was an article on the Sylvester & Orphanos publications. Tributes to the publishers and their publications include Digby Diehl's declaration in The Los Angeles Herald Examiner that Sylvester & Orphanos are "the elite craftsmen of book publishing," and Charles Champlin's Los Angeles Times tribute to their editions as being "exemplary works of fine printing and an impressive homage to their authors." Los Angeles Magazine has noted that each volume "is a unique example of the bookmaker's art," and California Magazine has reaffirmed that these editions are "exceptionally elegant examples of fine printing, binding, and design by a new California firm." Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, reacting to EXPELLED, one of the three John Cheever books issued by Sylvester & Orphanos, was impelled to write the publishers that "it is an exquisite, beautifully produced volume, as delightful in its form as in its content."

Of Stathis Orphanos' photographs novelist Reynolds Price has written that his portraits of authors are "far and away the best being taken by anyone." John Updike has written that he felt that Orphanos was "giving (him) the definitive personality (he) always lacked." The poet James Dickey declared Orphanos to be "as good as you say you are, and perhaps even a bit better," and author Donald Barthelme has stated that "it's hard to say which among your several talents is the most impressive but photography is clearly a front-runner." Of the locker room series Reynolds Price has observed that these pictures "go well past the usual hurlyburly to the core of male bonding that's so mysterious, so threatful to women, yet so necessary to men's continuance as whole upright and unconsumed creatures."

Stathis Orphanos' photographs have been exhibited in Beverly Hills, La Jolla, Newport Beach, San Diego, Hollywood, and at New York's prestigious MIDTOWN GALLERIES. UCLA recently established a Stathis Orphanos Photographic Archive at their University Research Library's Special Collections Department.


©2001 Stathis Orphanos. All rights reserved worldwide.