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A photo of model Kate Moss sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi is featured on the poster announcing the Schirn's new exhibit.

A photo of model Kate Moss sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi is featured on the poster announcing the Schirn's new exhibit. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A photo of model Kate Moss sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi is featured on the poster announcing the Schirn's new exhibit.

A photo of model Kate Moss sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi is featured on the poster announcing the Schirn's new exhibit. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A visitor to the Schirn's exhibit focusing on the paparazzi walks on the red carpet past Malachi Farrell's installation "Interview (Paparazzi)."

A visitor to the Schirn's exhibit focusing on the paparazzi walks on the red carpet past Malachi Farrell's installation "Interview (Paparazzi)." (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Visitors check out the photographs in the Schirn's new exhibit.

Visitors check out the photographs in the Schirn's new exhibit. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

This oversized photo of a paparazzo is on display at "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." The photo is a work done by the Austrian art collective G.R.A.M.

This oversized photo of a paparazzo is on display at "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." The photo is a work done by the Austrian art collective G.R.A.M. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Photographers wait for Brigitte Bardot in Rome in 1963. The photo is on display at the Schirn's new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists."

Photographers wait for Brigitte Bardot in Rome in 1963. The photo is on display at the Schirn's new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

French film diva Brigitte Bardot, photographed by a paparazzo using a long telephoto lens in Saint-Tropez in 1967. The photos is one of many displayed at the Schirn's new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists."

French film diva Brigitte Bardot, photographed by a paparazzo using a long telephoto lens in Saint-Tropez in 1967. The photos is one of many displayed at the Schirn's new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

This photo of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Spears' son Sean Preston shopping in 2006 is one of the pieces on display.

This photo of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Spears' son Sean Preston shopping in 2006 is one of the pieces on display. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A series of photos showing  stars blocking the cameras with their hands -- at top right, Mick Jagger with Arnold Schwarzenegger -- are part of "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists."

A series of photos showing stars blocking the cameras with their hands -- at top right, Mick Jagger with Arnold Schwarzenegger -- are part of "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Paparazzi-style photography has inspired both art and fashion photography. Here is a photo by Richard Avedon of Suzy Parker and Mike Nichols taken for a Harper's Bazaar fashion spread. The photo is on display "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists."

Paparazzi-style photography has inspired both art and fashion photography. Here is a photo by Richard Avedon of Suzy Parker and Mike Nichols taken for a Harper's Bazaar fashion spread. The photo is on display "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

This iconic/ironic photo by Paul Schmulbach of actor Marlon Brando being followed by paparazzo Ron Galella in 1974 is on display at "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." Brando was known for his dislike of paparazzi, and Galella, who is also know for his photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was perhaps the most infamous paparazzo of his time.

This iconic/ironic photo by Paul Schmulbach of actor Marlon Brando being followed by paparazzo Ron Galella in 1974 is on display at "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." Brando was known for his dislike of paparazzi, and Galella, who is also know for his photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was perhaps the most infamous paparazzo of his time. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Iggy Pop says "No photos!" in this 1978 photo by Brad Elterman on display at "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." Obviously the paparazzo didn't obey his command.

Iggy Pop says "No photos!" in this 1978 photo by Brad Elterman on display at "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." Obviously the paparazzo didn't obey his command. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A visitor to the Schirn's paparazzi exhibit looks at photos of Paris Hilton.

A visitor to the Schirn's paparazzi exhibit looks at photos of Paris Hilton. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A paparazzo, Paul J. Richards, used a long telephoto lens to catch Princess Diana swimming in 1993. "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists" will run at the Schirn in Frankfurt until Oct. 12, 2014.

A paparazzo, Paul J. Richards, used a long telephoto lens to catch Princess Diana swimming in 1993. "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists" will run at the Schirn in Frankfurt until Oct. 12, 2014. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

The press try to photograph Anita Ekberg getting off a plane in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." A photographer in the film was named Paparazzo, giving a whole branch of photographers a name.

The press try to photograph Anita Ekberg getting off a plane in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." A photographer in the film was named Paparazzo, giving a whole branch of photographers a name. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A visitor to the new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists" at the Schirn takes a look at a paparazzo's tool, a camera with a 1000mm telephoto lens.

A visitor to the new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists" at the Schirn takes a look at a paparazzo's tool, a camera with a 1000mm telephoto lens. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A coy Elizabeth Taylor looks out of the window of a car in this photo taken by Daniel Angeli in Gestaad, Switzerland, in 1979. The photo is one of many of Taylor and other stars on display at the Schirn's new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists."

A coy Elizabeth Taylor looks out of the window of a car in this photo taken by Daniel Angeli in Gestaad, Switzerland, in 1979. The photo is one of many of Taylor and other stars on display at the Schirn's new exhibit "Paparazzi Photographers, Stars and Artists." (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Paparazzi is the plural form of the noun paparazzo, which, according to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, is “a photographer, often a freelance one, who takes candid shots, often in an intrusive manner, of celebrities for newspapers or magazines.”

The word originates from Federico Fellini’s 1960 film “La Dolce Vita,” in which a photographer named Paparazzo chases Anita Ekberg through Rome.

As a photojournalist, I’ve had the word paparazzi thrown at me many times. By family and friends — sometimes only half in jest — and by people on the street when I’m waiting, cameras around my neck, for an event to happen.

A new exhibit, “Paparazzi! Photographers, Stars and Artists,” just opened at the Schirn in Frankfurt, Germany, so I thought I would check it out to see if I fit the bill.

The exhibit, originally put together by the Centre Pompidou in Metz, France, is the first to focus on paparazzi photography. It is divided into three parts. The first, “Photographers,” deals with the craft of paparazzi photography. Check out the camera on display armed with a 1000 mm telephoto lens used to “shoot” celebrities from afar. The second part, “Stars,” covers the relationship between paparazzi, mostly male, and their mostly female celebrity prey. Six female celebrities from the 1960s to the present — Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Princess Diana, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears — are featured in this section. Photos range from nudes of Bardot and Onassis (taken with a giant telephoto lens from afar) to up-close images of a pantyless Britney getting out of a car while out on the town with Paris.

The third part, called “Artists,” is devoted to the influence of paparazzi-style photography on the arts. There is a silkscreen print by Richard Hamilton based on a photo of Mick Jagger on his way to court wearing handcuffs and shielding his face. Works by Cindy Sherman and Alison Jackson imagine paparazzi moments that never happened. Jackson uses lookalikes to stage photos of “Princess Diana” flipping the finger, “the Queen” reading the paper on the loo, and George W. Bush” playing with a Rubik’s Cube.

The paparazzi influence on fashion photography is illustrated with a selection of Richard Avedon’s images for a Harper’s Bazaar fashion spread.

While the exhibit is entertaining, and perhaps offers us a view into our darker, nosier side, it made me sure — no matter what friends, family and strangers might say — a paparazzo, I am not.

abrams.mike@stripes.com

“Paparazzi! Photographers, Stars and Artists” When The exhibit runs until Oct. 12, 2014. Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Friday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday.

Where

The Schirn Kunsthalle is at Römerberg, Frankfurt. By car head for the city center and follow signs to Parkbereich D, Dom/Römer. The parking garage here costs 2 euros per hour. By public transportation: subway lines 4, 5, exit at the Dom/Römer stop; tram lines 11, 12, exit at Paulskirche stop.

More information The Schirn website is http://schirn.de/en/Home.html. Here you can also buy tickets.

Note There is a lot of nudity in this exhibit. If it makes uncomfortable, the show probably is not for you.


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