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What a Swell Party It Was

Out There

Larry Fink, the eyeful fly-on-the-wall of the black tie set, takes over LACMA with “Vanity” exhibition

From blue collar to black tie, Larry Fink has photographed gatherings of every sort during his forty-year career. We’ve been lucky enough to see him do his thing several times. Once or twice he even saw fit to focus on us; see accompanying photo, featuring the later George Plimpton, shot at the late Elaine’s. Gestures, textures, and fleeting expressions that would otherwise escape attention are his stock in trade, and few do it better. In his new show at LACMA, which runs through April 3, Fink zooms in on a decade of snaps from Vanity Fair’s legendary Oscar party, featuring nearly every famous face in Tinseltown. They have much more depth and dimension than the red carpet crud of course, revealing, in the museum’s words, “not that celebrities are superficial, but that their humanity is profound and complex.”

“Larry Fink: Hollywood, 2000-2009,” The Resnick Pavilion, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.