Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker

Along with Tim Walker, Miles Aldridge and Inez & Vinoodh, Guy Bourdin stands as one of my favourite fashion photographers.
During his creative peak in the 70's, there were few others who could match his relentless prolificacy, visual dynamism and the
bold uncompromising sexuality depicted in all of his work.

I went to see his retrospective at Somerset House a lil while ago and it was one of the most brilliant and exciting exhibitions I've seen in a long time. Every wall contained unforgettable images perfectly illustrating Bourdin's skill for creating melodramatic fashion scenes. With their dazzling use of
colour and vivid graphical composition, some photos strongly resemble the glossy schlock of Giallo cinema which was very prevalent during the time.

Bourdin did not shy away from taboo and provocative. The models in his photographs are depicted in many gleefully sexualized ways, (some maybe a tad misogynistic). How he choose to tightly crop images is almost violent in the way limbs are disembodied and awkwardly contorted, like a police crime scene image. Viewing his body of work I am pretty convinced he had a bit of a foot fetish too.

My favourite photographs from the show include the collaborative series with shoe designer Charles Jourdan where the model's legs are so meticulously composed that they come across more mechanical than human in form. Another memorable photo was the legs on train track image which demonstrates the seductively dark humour present in much of Bourdin's work.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show and would recommend it for everyone to go see had I written this post earlier and the show hadn't ended already... 

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