Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin made voyeurs of us all when his unique style of fashion photography — tiptoeing to the edge of pornography but ending up at art — peaked in popularity in the 1970s. Born in Paris, the photographer got his training in the military but soon began to apply his learning to a different sort of violence. His highly controlled images are famous for a mysterious sense of danger and sex, of the fearsome but desirable, of the taboo and the surreal. Bourdin's models often appeared dead or injured — and his real-life relationships with women were consistently fraught — which led some critics to accuse the photographer of objectification. Whatever his intentions, Bourdin changed the way women were portrayed and chose to portray themselves in art and advertisements and music videos. He shunned books and exhibits and even awards, so his work appeared only in magazines, but his influence was extensive.