GUY BOURDIN - IMAGE MAKER

The UK’s largest ever exhibition of the talented fashion and advertising photographer Guy Bourdin, featuring over 100 works and previously unseen material from 1955 to 1987.  

Guy Bourdin’s editorial and advertising imagery represent a highpoint in late twentieth century fashion photography. His work took the basic role of the fashion photograph -to sell clothing, beauty and accessories- and made it into something intense and provocative. Something that you will remember! 

Curated by Alistair O’Neill with Shelly Verthime, the exhibition included over 100 colour exhibition prints of Bourdin’s most significant works, as well as early and late works in black and white. To help the visitor understand more the creative process behind Guy Bourdin's work, we have access to drawings, notebooks and painting.

I really enjoyed this exhibition and the way it has been curated. Guy Bourdin was an 'image maker' as he was using photography to tell story and grab the attention of the viewer. It was not just to present a beautiful picture but also to sell a message, an emotion. Some shots are more provocative, some more ironic or erotic but always with elegance and style. 

As part of the exhibition, I had the pleasure to see the ‘Walking Legs’ series - a campaign commissioned by Charles Jourdan in 1979 exhibited in its entirety for the first time. The story behind the series is in total harmony with the personality of Guy Bourdin. Indeed those shots were created during a travel with his son from London to Brighton, in a black Cadillac and a bag of Charles Jourdan's shoes. 

Models and shots are still beautiful but Guy Bourdin is taking the context less seriously, going over the cliché of fashion photography. 

 

Sommerset House

Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Dates: 27 November 2014 – 15 March 2015