A fashion and commercial photographer since 1968, and also a filmmaker, Sarah Moon is known for her dreamlike images and her representation of femininity as free from time and context, as living in a fairy world. Although Moon has been a major participant in the world of fashion for more than three decades, she has carefully carved out her own niche -- a signature style that dispenses with the erotically suggestive poses favored by many of her male counterparts in favor of the emblems of luxury and nostalgia. Mystery and sensuality are at the core of Moon's work, whether she's photographing haute couture, still life, or portraiture. In this book, Moon's first major retrospective, viewers will be treated to a visual tour-de-force, showing all the genres she has explored in her rich and diverse career.
Sarah Moon, previously known as Marielle Hadengue, is a French photographer. Initially a model, she turned to fashion photography in the 1970s. Since 1985, she has concentrated on gallery and film work. Hadengue was born in Vichy in 1941. Her Jewish family was forced to leave occupied France for England. As a teenager she studied drawing before working as a model in London and Paris (1960–1966) under the name Marielle Hadengue. She also became interested in photography, taking shots of her model colleagues. In 1970, she finally decided to spend all her time on photography rather than modelling, adopting Sarah Moon as her new name. She successfully captured the fashionable atmosphere of London after the "swinging sixties", working closely with Barbara Hulanicki, who had launched the popular clothes store Biba. In 1972, she shot the Pirelli calendar, the first woman to do so. After working for a long time with Cacharel, her reputation grew and she also received commissions from Chanel, Dior, Comme des Garçons and Vogue. In 1985, she moved into gallery and film work, even making a pop video.
Texture, surface, seeing, believing, dreaming. It is difficult to summarize Sarah Moon’s fantastical photography - almost thirty years of image making has made Sarah Moon a legend in her own lifetime. Well known for her very personalized commercial work since the early 1970s, Sarah has continued to investigate a world of her own invention without repetition and also without compromise. Looking into Sarah Moon’s extraordinary photographs is comparable to looking through a two-way mirror. The mirror surface becomes the print and the viewer has the privilege of standing on the ’other-side’ looking through the image at the same time. The living creatures are rendered so ’still’ and conversely the inanimate objects, such as the dolls, become human and expressive with their own inimitable character, ultimately mirroring each other.
There is an atmosphere and intensity which is constantly apparent that sets her work apart.
It is also the range of subject matter, the banal, the incidental, and the secret that Sarah Moon allows us to see in a new and extraordinary light. The current trend in photography is towards a method that is more and more interventionist. Moon takes little pleasure in this kind of creation, but is involved in a personal search. The dream world is quintessential to her work; her images lead us into a world bewitched. When men appear, her pictures move towards a more disturbing surrealism and a dangerous mystery is inferred. These are photographs in which the bizarre and unusual confront ordinary reality.
Source: Michael Hoppen Gallery