Willy Rizzo

Born in 1928 - Portugal


Native from a family from Naples, Willy Rizzo realized his first photographies during his childhood, by taking pictures of his schoolmates with a Box Agfa offered by his mother.

As soon as 1944, he bought a Rolleiflexet, supported by the photographer Gaston Paris, he entered the film industry, frequenting the Billancourt and Joinville studios. He took pictures of stars that got very excited about him. After the war, he went for the first time to the United-States.

Willy Rizzo took pictures of most of the biggest stars from 1945 to 1970: Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Maria Callas, Sarah Vaughan, Gregory Peck…

In 1960, he worked for Marie Claire, Richard Thérond wanted to do a subject about the Zodiac sign with stars posing in front of Jean Lurçat's tapestries. The idea didn't pleased him and he decided to work on a subject with famous art personalities with his own staging. It ended up for example with a beautiful photo shoot with Coco Chanel and the Lion in 1960, in her studios.

In 1968 he went to live in Rome, and started to work as a designer, at first for his personal need. He managed to create his own collection, influenced by famous names like Le Corbusier. He created his own society that was about 150 employees.

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