New York-based British photographer Steve Pyke — an artist known for his dramatic take on portraiture — has been on staff at The New Yorker since 2004. While his roots are in the late ’70s music scene, by 1980 Pyke had abandoned rock ‘n roll for the visual arts. His early work was featured in publications like The Face and NME, and his reputation grew thanks to a number of interesting personal projects, specifically a series called Philosophers. His photographs are included in many permanent collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Imperial War Museum, the V&A in London, and the New York Public Library.
Sophia Loren, Florence 1999
I shot Sophia Loren in my hotel room in the Excelsior in Florence behind lace curtains. Earlier in the day I had witnessed a crowd spontaneously burst into applause when she entered the hotel lobby. When I asked her if this happened all the time she replied, “Of course darling, I am the Queen of Italy.”