I ended up going for a fantastic exhibit at the Somerset House. This was quite some time back, in March, and I found the pictures I took on my phone and realised I had completely forgotten about it. The exhibit showed photographs by Guy Bourdin – probably the only fashion photographer whose work is so distinctive that even an amateur like me can recognise it.
This is probably his most recognised photograph, from the Vogue Paris, May 1970 issue.
What I love (I am not sure love is the most appropriate word – intrigue?) about his photographs is the fact that although they are glossy, fashion photographs there is always something shocking and disturbing about them. If you have no idea about his work and never seen his photographs before, you will absolutely understand what I mean once you have a look at the photographs below. This is not your happy filtered fashion Instagrams – these are photographs that make you feel there is a dark side to fashion. Even shoes.
This is one of my favourites. And so is the one below.
And isn’t this one fantastic?
Of course, I would love to own a print but since they run upwards of £10,000, it seems unlikely. The first photograph of this post is currently priced at £15,500.
There are some facts about his professional and personal life that makes his photographs even more interesting. He was entirely self-taught and was one of the first few photographers whose work elevated fashion photography to the status of art. He started using the double spread magazine page in new inventive ways – techniques which are used even now. From the exhibits which were shown at the exhibition, you can know the painstaking work that went into creating his sets and layouts. Every little detail was thought of and considered to ensure it fulfilled its purpose in the complete photograph.
And if I absolutely have to choose, <a href=”http://And if I absolutely have to choose, this one – unfortunately I don’t have a photo of it – is definitely my favourite photo out of all his work I have managed to see.” target=”_blank”>this one – unfortunately I don’t have a photo of it – is definitely my favourite photo out of all his work I have managed to see.
From a personal aspect, we know he was almost careless about his work and made no effort to save it at all. Most of the photographs that were a part of the exhibit have been provided by third parties (including Vogue magazine for whom he did a lot of work) and some came from his own estate. I found this old Vogue on Ebay which would have his photographs – in case anyone is interested and has the money to spend!
Thats my very stylish friend, Duygu. You will definitely be meeting her properly on the blog. The exhibit was held in this beautiful gallery in Somerset House, which I think is one of the most impressive buildings in London.
The photos on this post were taken at the exhibit on an iPhone and have not been edited or filtered in any way.