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Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion

Posted on October 06, 2023 - By 29 Arts In Progress Gallery
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Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion
Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion

October 19, 2023 - March 16, 2024


29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery is delighted to announce the exhibition entitled ‘MICHEL HADDI: BEYOND FASHION’, the first major solo show in Milan by French-Algerian photographer Michel Haddi.

The show will unfold over two consecutive exhibitions, the first from 19th October to 22nd December 2023 and the second from 16th January to 16th March 2024. On display are the most exemplary images of a career spanning more than 40 years, part of an endless archive of famous faces, top models, icons and legends from the worlds of music and art. From Liza Minnelli to David Bowie, from Cameron Diaz to Jennifer Lopez and Angelina Jolie, including unexpected shots of Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Stephanie Seymour, Yasmin Le Bon and Veruschka, to name but a few.

In the countless faces portrayed by Haddi, he has succeeded in capturing the spirit of his time through the celebrities who have populated the history of fashion, film and music. His take is intimate, personal and unconventional, just like much of his career, which is a far cry from that of a classic fashion photographer: having survived a troubled childhood, during which he clung to his dream of becoming a photographer, Haddi has dedicated his life to illustrating some of the key players in the historical and cultural changes of the last Century with a rare ability to capture, and then successfully replicate, the deepest essence of his subjects.


Michel Haddi

Cameron Diaz, Vogue Homme Magazine Venice Beach, California, 1993 © Michel Haddi / Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery


The exhibition, which is divided up into two phases, will allow the public as well as collectors to grasp the essence of Haddi’s work in the most refined black and white pictures taken in his studio, as well as in his rather unusual shots packed with a street vibe and an urban soul but also with a sense of irony and sensuality that highlight the Artist’s multifaceted personality.

In order to pay tribute to such a vast line-up of photos, the second exhibition phase will present the public not only with nudes and unpublished shots, but also evocative, brightlycoloured pictures packed with Nineties tropical American atmospheres, often linked to certain emblematic advertising campaigns created by Haddi for international brands such as Versace, Chanel, Armani and Yves Saint-Laurent.

Haddi, which literally translates from the Semitic language as ‘the one who sees’, has succeeded in the difficult task of seeing, precisely, the true nature of the subjects who posed for him in front of his lens – actors, models or ordinary people – and to replicate their image, at times ironically and at other profoundly: all his photographs have a story to tell because they are authentic pictures, which play with the most common human emotions and, precisely for this reason, become indelible.

The two exhibition phases will be animated by live events featuring Michel Haddi designed to encourage the public from the city of Milan to interact and liaise with the Artist in person.


Michel Haddi

Kate Moss for British GQ, New York, 1991 © Michel Haddi / Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery


Michel Haddi
Haddi had a turbulent childhood, moving between foster homes until the age of six; eventually, he ended up at the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul Orphanage in Paris. During this time, Haddi’s mother brought him copies of Vogue which fascinated him throughout his childhood, looking at the photos of great photographers. Piqued by a particular shot by Helmut Newton, Haddi aspired to leave Paris and become a photographer while working in a famous restaurant where he met personalities from the world of fashion and many stars.

In 1970, after a journey that took him by way of Saudi Arabia, Michel began assisting various photographers. Once back in London, he met his lifelong mentor Victor Herbert who set him on the path to success. In 1980 Haddi opened his first studio and then began collaborating with famous magazines such as American GQ, Jardin des Modes, and British Vogue. In 1981, Haddi was commissioned by Vogue Hommes for a ten-page photoshoot, which resulted in a long and fruitful collaboration that took him to Italy, where in 1985 he met Franca Sozzani (then Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia until 2016), Editor of Lei and Per Lui, who asked Haddi to join her team. Michel Haddi began his many travels as collaborations with The Face, GQ, The Sunday Times, Tatler, British Vogue, and many more renowned publications developed. From 1989 on, he moved around New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, and Milan working for more than 30 years as one of the leading photographers in fashion.

Michel Haddi’s editorial collaborations include the most important magazines in Europe, Asia, and the USA: Italian Vogue, Italian Glamour, Uomo Vogue, French Vogue, Vogue Hommes, British Vogue, Mademoiselle, Tatler, GQ, Allure, Vanity Fair, The Face, Arena, Interview, Details, Rolling Stone, Vibe, Elle, Premiere, Stern, The Sunday Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire Germany are among them. He photographed advertising campaigns for Armani, Yves Saint-Laurent, Emilio Pucci, Lancetti, Replay, Lee Jeans, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Guerlain, and many others. While living in the USA, he met and photographed many high-profile celebrities including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and many others, capturing intimate moments and the essence of all those he shot. A photographer and film director, Haddi is currently based in London where he also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books.


Michel Haddi

Linda Evangelista, Party Milan, Vanity Fair Italia, 2010 © Michel Haddi / Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery



Michel Haddi

Georgia May Jagger, Gala Magazine, Paris, 2017 © Michel Haddi / Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery


29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
29 ARTS IN PROGRESS is a leading art photography gallery located in the historic area of Sant’Ambrogio, Milan. The gallery represents the work of internationally renowned photographers, with a focus on portraiture and fashion photography. Since its inception, the gallery has curated exhibitions in partnership with public and private museums including V&A Museum; Hong Kong Arts Centre; Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow; Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint Petersburg; Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Pirelli and Triennale in Milan, Museum of Cultures in Lugano and Nicola Erni Collection in Steinhausen, Switzerland.


Michel Haddi

Top image: Michel Haddi © Sarah Coldron
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