Guy Bourdin is arguably the best fashion photographer of his generation. He has set the standard for today’s fashion image styling and his flair for creating drama in stills is a testament to the power of the image capture.
His settings use the mastery of colour like a Matisse with the energy of a Punk Rocker. He forces the viewer to engage intimately with the subjects and teases the eye. Considering many of the photos are of fashion it is sometimes surprising how little of the garments are actually seen yet fashion is still the dominate subject.
Many of the photographic images that we see young fashions designers adopting owe a big-up to Guy. For those of you who do not know who I talking about here is a bio and an image slideshow. Enjoy.
He worked for Vogue magazine from 1955 onwards for roughly 30 years.
His work for Vogue, together with another Seventies famous fashion photographer, Helmut Newton defied the standards, ideas and theories about fashion photography in general.
Both used strong themes, including themes such as sex, death, violence, glamour and fear, to provoke a new way of looking at man in general.
During their working years for Vogue they were given unlimited artistic freedom.
Bourdin did advertising work for the Charles Jourdan shoe company. His quirky crime scene ads were greatly recognized and always muchly awaited by the media.
In the last years, Guy Bourdin has been hailed as one of the greatest fashion photographers of all time and his son, Samuel Bourdin, released a book with the finest prints of his father’s work, called “Exhibit A”.
He has been an influence on many artists, and continues to be so until this very day.
Madonna’s 2003 music video for Hollywood was greatly influenced by the photography of Bourdin, so much so that a lawsuit was brought on against her by Bourdin’s son for copyright infringement.
A fantastical biographical documentary program was shown for the BBC in 1991 (Dreamgirls: The photographs of Guy Bourdin). So few fashion icons like Helmut Newton and Jean-Baptiste Mondino played a crucial role talking about the way that Bourdin managed his own way to do fashion photography. In this program the spectator also can grasp the complex universe around the pictures of Bourdin.
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