Olivia Bee, Larsen, 2016 © Olivia Bee
Fashion magazines are not made to last. Every month there is a new issue with new images, new dreams to sell. One has to remember that fashion magazines produce hundreds of thousands of images to sell fashion. While flipping through these magazines, one surprising image can suddenly catch the eye. This image goes beyond the magazine whose purpose is to sell a garment and to inform potential customers. Here it is about a photographer’s vision, new aesthetics at play, a narrative that reaches far beyond fashion.
Anaïs Leu, Walk with Pierre Hardy, 2016 © ECAL / Anaïs Leu
Marton Perlaki, Female Torso, 2014 © Marton Perlaki
Ina Jang, A ball. The Cut / New York Magazine, 2013 © Ina Jang
Paul Jung, PJW508 Nº3946, 2015 © Paul Jung
Blommers & Schumm, Tanga Smoking, 2010 © Blommers & Schumm
At one time, the only place to see a fashion photograph was in the pages of a magazine or possibly stuck to the wall of a teenage girl’s bedroom; but things have changed, with museums holding major exhibitions, galleries and auction houses selling fashion images, and publishers constantly releasing new titles devoted to fashion photography. Removed from its original context (the magazine page), fashion photography is art’s rising star. The art world is much more accepting of fashion photography because museums have moved from high art to an all-embracing visual culture.
Peter Lindbergh, Milagros Schmoll, Paris, 2006 © Peter Lindbergh (Courtesy Peter Lindbergh, Paris)
Nick Knight, Past, Present & Couture, Dior, 2001 © Nick Knight
Ellen von Unwerth, Rich Bitch, Paris, 2004 © Ellen von Unwerth
Miles Aldridge, Home Works #3, 2008 © Miles Aldridge
Miles Aldridge, Vogue Italia, 2002 © Miles Aldridge / Vogue Italia
Kiki Xue, Peking Opera, 2016 © Kiki Xue
For a long time, fashion photography was seen as exclusively commercial. However, contemporary photographers don’t necessarily conceive of their work as fitting into one single category or medium. In the 21st century, boundaries between editorial work, advertising work and personal work are now blurring. Digital media have changed the way photography is reported, consumed and shared. With the explosion of street-style blogs, Instagram and Pinterest, fashion photography has become the new visual language. No longer regarded as frivolous, it has been elevated to the status of an art form.
Koto Bolofo, Skin Deep, 2008 © Koto Bolofo
Sølve Sundsbø, Elena in Gaultier, Numéro #91, 2007 © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce
Daniel Sannwald, Garage Magazine, Fall/Winter 2014, 2014 © Daniel Sannwald
Erik Madigan, Heck Comme des Garçons, 2017 © Erik Madigan Heck
The show includes the work of the most acclaimed fashion photographers today, such as Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindbergh, Miles Aldridge, Ellen von Unwerth. It will also involve photographs and films of the new generation, Blommers & Schumm, Solve Sundsbo, Daniel Sannwald, Viviane Sassen or Erik Madigan Heck, all highly talented artists who are taking the lead in the years to come. The photographers brought together in this exhibition have looked anew at the potential of fashion photography and created an imagery that goes far beyond fashion.
Curated by Nathalie Herschdorfer.
March 11 – June 4, 2023 / IPFO – House of Photography, Olten, Switzerland
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