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Magnificent Obsessions

Magnificent Obsessions

A pair of old boots covered in paint, an old NYC taxi-driver’s license, and a fake ear. These unlikely objects were included in Persol’s Magnificent Obsessions – 30 stories of craftsmanship in film. The boots belonged to Ed Harris, who learned to paint abstract expressionism for “Pollock”; the taxi driver’s license is the one that DeNiro earned while preparing for “Taxi Driver”, and the fake ear? It’s from Blue Velvet, by auteur David Lynch.

Ed Harris in Pollock (2000)

Ed Harris in Pollock (2000)

Harris' obsession: Becoming Jackson

Harris' obsession: Becoming Jackson

These were just three of the 30 tales we uncovered and told during three years of global exhibitions, to bring to life Persol’s connection to the world of cinema and commitment to impeccable craftsmanship. To do this we presented 10 examples each year of meticulous artistry in some of cinema’s most iconic on screen moments. In total the stories reflected the 30 obsessively precise steps that go into making a pair of Persols.

We asked curator Michael Connor to work with filmmakers and other institutions to develop content of rarely seen artefacts from cinema’s greatest films over the three years.

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976)

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976)

De Niro's obsession: Unleashing the character

De Niro's obsession: Unleashing the character

Attended by over 50,000 visitors in its final season, Magnificent Obsessions was originally a short-term event in warehouse and loft spaces across New York, Paris and Milan in 2011. But when the people behind the MOMI saw it, they offered us an entire floor of their exhibition space for three months in 2012 and four months in 2013.

Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)

Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)

Alfred Hitchcock's obsession: Controlled choreography

Alfred Hitchcock's obsession: Controlled choreography

Each opening event was attended by many of the filmmakers celebrated in the exhibitions. Coverage appeared across a variety of arts, fashion, and listings publications including Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and Elle, and was picked as one of Time Out New York’s best exhibits to see in 2013.

 
 
Art of the Compliment

Art of the Compliment

Only Dove

Only Dove