All Photos by Catherine Opie, Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York & Hong Kong.
Elizabeth Taylor’s public persona was a study in contrasts: She dressed lavishly in couture clothes and brilliant diamonds befitting her status as a film icon, but was also a tireless philanthropist and advocate, both relatable and forthright in her causes. In the new book 700 Nimes Road—named for Taylor’s Los Angeles address—photographer Catherine Opie explores this connection between Elizabeth Taylor the star and Elizabeth Taylor the person through intimate and at times poignant “indirect portraits” of the icon’s life at home, including shots of movingly personal items like a pair of Taylor’s red baby shoes. Opie, whose portrait work typically explores the relationships of individuals to their social or political communities, spent six months capturing some 3,000 images of Taylor’s residence. (The number was edited down to 129 for the book.) The photos were taken just before and after Taylor’s hospitalization and eventual death in March 2011.