Guy Bourdin was a photographer best known for his surreal work for French Vogue from the mid forties to the mid eighties and for his graphically strong and charismatic work for the shoe company, Charles Jourdan. He’s now the subject of the brilliant Image Maker exhibition at Somerset house, London.
Whilst conventional fashion images follow the general generalisation of the world: making beauty and clothing their central elements, Bourdin’s photographs offer something grittier..more radical. In a glossier, more vibrant, tumbling world he created desire and lust..then subverted it with hints at dark fantasies and suggestions of depravity. In beautifully created and calculated illusions, his camera acts like an unwanted intruder..
Welcomes you to the unexpected, wickedly carving up the narrative, his subjects caught in the headlights. Disgraceful, flashy and all handcrafted with love and terror.
But always with humour and heart.
The colours are intense: heightened, enhanced, almost hyper-real: Red, blue, a specific yellow, black and white. And always with a life and energy that our modern day editorials seem to have lost.
In our age of endless image manipulation and photoshopping, there’s something incredible about Bourdin’s sheer creativity and endless imagination. Look, no digital re-mastering..
(This is my lovely friend Sophie at the exhibition in our own photo homage)
This exhibition is cool statement strong balls with scalpel sharp insights and seductive eye candy. Go see it…then see it again..
Laters, Kate x