For the first time Bourdin’s work as a painter and his notes on film will be exhibited alongside his famed fashion photographs at this retrospective at the Kunstmeile Hamburg. The photographer’s detached and surreal cinematic style will be celebrated as expected but the exhibition will also show his detailed working method which has led onto him being considered one of the most visionary and important photographer’s in fashion history. Black and White photographs dating back to the 1950s showing portraits of Bourdin and views of the Paris that he lived in alongside sketches and notes will all be on show together. His photographs are known for being an area of which to present the fear of horror movies crossed with the uneasy mystery of a murder films all engulfed in layers of impenetrable glamour where the fashionable object on show becomes highly fetishised. Desire and sex are obsessive themes but he was able to turn around our expected notions of lust as something confusing, something filled with anxiety . There was this aspect of creating hyper-real landscapes in his work, skyless rooms with overpowering colour which resulted in an over all feeling of intense claustrophobia to his photography. These themes contrasted with models who appear so perfectly glamourised but simultaneously anonymous created wonderful but terrifying images.
His photographs will always be highly regarded and receive endless appraisal but what will be especially interesting in this exhibition will be the focus on Bourdin as an individual. His own personal life has been shrouded in as much mystery as his work radiates, dark rumours have always orbited him. The suicide of his wife and two of his girlfriend, his mother abandoning him as an infant and his treatment of the models being unpredictable are well none facts. Hopefully the exhibition will be able to delve into new light about this uncompromising photographer where it opens on the 1st of November as well as being a space to celebrate the importance and innovativeness of him as an artist.
If you haven’t already seen the documentary Dream girls – The photography of Guy Bourdin you can watch it here
You can also find out more details about the exhibition here
1 NOVEMBER 2013 – 26 JANUARY 2014