Guy Bourdin was no ordinary fashion photographer. His shoots were more likely to feature raw chickens alongside exquisite gowns than a perfectly turned out model and he was more inclined to spend hours discussing Cadillacs with the champion of surrealism, Man Ray, than be gossiping with a fashion editor. Bourdin was an innovator, a visionary with an ever-changing creative eye that has long since caused conversation since his death in 1991.
What better subject for a talk at London’s ICA than of Guy, his life and his work. As part of the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Talks programme – this season focussing on contemporary photographers- curator and lecturer Judith Clark joined Head of Photographs at Christie’s –and Bourdin obsessive- Phillippe Garner and Guy’s only son Samuel Bourdin for a night of heated discussion last Wednesday.
Us Topshop gals headed down for the evening of culture and revelled in the conversations of colour, light and genius. “He intuitively knew that form at a young age,” said Garner, “He hit the ground running. He was fully formed by the time he did his first shoot for French Vogue in 1954.” Being so sure of one’s creative mind at such a young age is rare indeed. From seductive leggy models crouched face-down in front of a vivid background to models stranded in darkened fields, Bourdin pushed the boundaries of fashion photography beyond what any magazine had published prior and for that we applaud him.
Don’t miss the other events happening at the ICA including Juergen Teller’s exhibition, Woo.