John De Mirjian


(Broadway, Manhattan)
Glamour photography & Theatrical portraiture. For such a temperamental figure, De Mirjian's visual style is strikingly free of shadow. He based his vocabulary of poses on that of Alfred Cheney Johnston and like Johnston specialized in the portraiture of women. De Mirjian's showgirl pictures are flooded with light. His portraits, male and female, dramatize personality. He liked extravagant dress and sitters with a daring spirit, so his photographs are among the most striking visually of the 1920s. He did occasional production photography, usually of the revues. His more risque imagery--showgirl nudes and draped model photos--were staples of the underground sex magazines of the period. Next to Hollywood photographer E. B. Hesser, he was the most widely published celebrant of celebrity flesh of the jazz age. Photographs l to r: Evangeline Raleigh [Shields Collection], Busby Berkeley [Jay Parrino Collection], Viola Paulson [Shields Collection], Gina Malo [Shields Collection], Mildred Douglas [Jay Parrino Collection]

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