Saturday, January 22, 2011

Guy Bourdin

Bourdin was the first photographer to create a complex narrative, then snatch a moment — sensual, provocative, shocking, exotic, surrealistic, sometimes sinister — and simply associate it with a fashion item. The narratives were strange and mysterious, sometimes full of violence, sexuality, and surrealism. Bourdin was influenced by his mentor Man Ray, photographer Edward Weston, the surrealist painters Magritte and Balthus, and film maker Luis Buñuel. Even though much less well known to the public than his colleague Helmut Newton (also working for Vogue), Bourdin possibly has been more influential on the younger generations of fashion photographers.

Guy Bourdin was a short man with a whiny voice, and had a reputation of being incredibly demanding. Dark rumours surrounded him: his mother abandoning him as an infant, the suicides of his wife and two of his girlfriends, and the cruelty in which he treated his models.[5]
[edit] Since his death
Bourdin was not a natural self-promoter, and did not collect his work or make any attempt to preserve them; in fact he refused several offers of exhibitions, rejected ideas for books, and wanted his work destroyed after his death (but since he didn’t keep so much of his work for himself, fortunately most of it was saved).[2] The first major book devoted to his work was Exhibit A (mentioned above), released ten years after his death.[1]
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.[citation needed]
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Nick Knight and David LaChapelle have admitted to be great admirers of his work.[citation needed]
A documentary program, Dreamgirls: The photographs of Guy Bourdin, was shown for the BBC in 1991. Fashion photographers like Helmut Newton and Jean-Baptiste Mondino talked about how Bourdin managed his own way to do fashion photography.[citation needed]
[edit] References

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