At House of Photography: Guy Bourdin


What’s on Vogue this year? Did you get your Vogue magazine? No? I agree, how much can one new edition influence my life and what possibly new and revolutionary photo composition can one bring? When I think of retro-fashion of course the 60’s MadMan style comes to my mind, as unbeatable as I find the fashion and aesthetics of MadMen era. But how about taking a retrospective journey through some of the most impressive, shocking, controversial, provocative and sensual Vogue years of the whole generation of late 70’s? House of Photography at Deichtonhallen Hamburg is hosting a great exhibition of the legendary French photographer Guy Bourdin (1928 – 1991). What a great way to start the Saturday, being introduced to unveiling works of the master of image making with surreal story telling which Bourdin beautifully associates with a fashion item. The incredible intensity of color saturation, texture and image composition artfully displayed by Vogue models of mid-end 70’s enhanced the dramatic scenery through playful sex, sensuality and violence. Bourdin is the first photographer to create such complex story telling with strange and mysterious thematic. With his often surreal twist goes beyond limits of that reality and radically breaks conventions of back then commercial photography.

But who was Guy Bourdin? His early back and white work dating from 1950 included people and artists portrait as well as life in Paris. His genius personality placed in a short man stature with high-pitched voice and demanding character was surrounded by dark gossip stories of being an abandoned child, the suicide of his wife and two girlfriends, and maltreatment of models. That might also explain how violence displays in his oeuvre merged with the sublimed beauty of female models, all in fashion-sensual like context.

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