In Ron Galella's photographs, Hollywood is chronicled in all its fascinating, narcissistic splendor. Here is a startled Bette Midler looking behind her shoulder at the Grammy Awards, her askew tiara making her look like a lost, overgrown trick-or-treater. Alfred Hitchcock at the premiere of his film Family Plot wearing a stony, zombie-like expression that recalls Tor Johnson's performance in Plan 9 From Outer Space. A pre-Saturday Night Fever John Travolta already basking in fame, a crowd of fans restrained mere inches away and behaving as if Travolta's then unadulterated charisma had driven them to fits of ecstasy. And a miniscule Herve Villechaize ducking under a velvet rope at the Golden Globe awards like a mischievous gremlin hell-bent on carrying out acts of sabotage on the glamorous proceedings. Despite Galella's cinema verite hand, there is a persistent dream-like quality that emerges throughout the book. There are moments when the images almost threaten to tumble into a vortex where reality and fantasy merge - like the spiraling narrative of the amnesiac actress in Mulholland Drive, David Lynch's savagely surreal commentary on Tinseltown. Of all the visions in Galella's work, however, the most sobering seems to be the reminder of the ephemeral nature of fame and flesh.
(from my essay for an exhibition of Galella's work)