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Guy Bourdin
Guy Bourdin
Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin

Country: France
Birth: 1928 | Death: 1991

Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was born in Paris.

A painter his entire life and a self-taught photographer, he was working for magazines, such as Vogue as well as for brands such as Chanel, Ungaro and Charles Jourdan. He exhibited his first photographies at Galerie 29 in 1952. Nowadays his work has been exhibited in the most prestigious museums, such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Jeu de Paume, The National Art Museum of China, The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and The Moscow House of Photography. His oeuvres is part of the collection of many prestigious institutions such as the MoMA in New York, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, SFMOMA in San Francisco and the collection of the V&A among others.

Guy Bourdin's career spanned more than forty years during which time he worked for the world's leading fashion houses and magazines. With the eye of a painter, Guy Bourdin created images that contained fascinating stories, compositions, both in B&W and in colors. He was among the 1st to create images with narratives, telling stories and shows that the image is more important than the product which is displayed. Using fashion photography as his medium, he sent out his message, one that was difficult to decode, exploring the realms between the absurd and the sublime. Famed for his suggestive narratives and surreal aesthetics, he radically broke conventions of commercial photography with a relentless perfectionism and sharp humor.

Guy Bourdin used the format of the double spread magazine page in the most inventive way. He tailored his compositions to the constraints of the printed page both conceptually and graphically, and the mirror motif so central in his work finds its formal counterpart in the doubleness of the magazine spread. Layout and design become powerful metaphors for the photographic medium, engaging the eye and with it, the mind. While on the one hand employing formal elements of composition, Guy Bourdin, on the other hand, sought to transcend the reality of the photographic medium with surreal twists to the apparent subject of his images and his unconventional manipulation of the picture plane. Given total creative freedom and with uncompromising artistic ethic, Guy Bourdin captured the imagination of a whole generation at the late 1970s, recognised as the highest note in his career.

Guy Bourdin was an image maker, a perfectionist. He knew how to grab the attention of the viewer and left nothing to chance. He created impeccable sets, or when not shooting in his studio rue des Ecouffes in le Marais, in undistinguished bedrooms, on the beach, in nature, or in urban landscapes. The unusual dramas that unfold in these seemingly everyday scenes and ordinary encounters pique our subconscious and invite our imagination. Moreover, he developed a technic using hyper real colours, meticulous compositions of cropped elements such as low skies with high grounds and the interplay of light and shadows as well as the unique make-up of the models.

Guy Bourdin irreverently swept away all the standards of beauty, conventional morals and product portrayals in one fell swoop. Around the female body he constructed visual disruptions, the outrageous, the hair-raising, the indiscreet, the ugly, the doomed, the fragmentary and the absent, torsos and death - all the tension and the entire gamut of what lies beyond the aesthetic and the moral,« explains the exhibition's curator Ingo Taubhorn. Bourdin investigates in minute detail the variables of fashion photography, from brash posing to subtle performances and from complex settings to novel and disturbing notions of images.

Guy Bourdin was among the first to imagine fashion photographies that contained fascinating narratives, dramatic effects with intense color saturation, hyper-realism and cropped compositions while he established the idea that the product is secondary to the image. A fan of Alfred Hitchcock's 'Macguffin' technique - an inanimate object catalyzing the plot - the photographer constructed 'crime scenes', getting rid of all usual standards of beauty and morals while his images demanded cerebral responses. When such photographers as David Bailey, in the 1960s, produced fantasy images of the girl-next-door, Guy Bourdin captured the atmosphere of the 1970s with sharp humor, erotism and outrageous femininity. Collaborating with Issey Miyake, Chanel or Emmanuel Ungaro, it was his work for the shoe label, Charles Jourdan, that brought him the attention of a wider public. With the campaign, Guy Bourdin dared to barely show the product and turned the shoe into a trivial element of a theatrical mise-en-scène that enhanced sex and bad taste.

Guy Bourdin's imagery not only changed the course of fashion photography but influenced a host of contemporary artists, photographers and filmmakers. It is without question, that Guy Bourdin's work for Vogue and his highly acclaimed print advertising for Charles Jourdan in the 1970s are now being seen in the appropriate context of contemporary art.
 

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1898 | † 1971
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Donell Gumiran is a Design & Senior Art Director based in Dubai."Every time I press the shutter, it seems like it's an extension of my personality,"- Donell Gumiran. He sees himself as an image-maker who captures and tells a story in a photograph. The Filipino lensman sees his photography as an art form, borne from his desire to create on canvas and his professional training in design, when he worked as a design director in a creative agency. Now based in the U.A.E. Donell is known for his evocative portraits and travel photography. His favorite subjects are those that capture human conditions and emotions in everyday life. His knack for sharing his stories, captured through the lens, has won him international recognitions. He is the recipient of numerous awards both local and international. Donell Gumiran is also photographer & contributor for Asian Geographic Magazine. Recently, He won in Tokyo Foto Award, Japan - Gold 2019, 1st Prize in documentary category 2018 - International Photography (IPA) Awards Los Angeles, USA. 1st Place Winner 2018 The Independent Photo Travel Award, Berlin, Germany - He was adjudged the 2017 grand prize winner of the Travel Photographer Society International Photography Contest Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017 and was awarded as "Portrait Photographer of the Year 2017" for Asian Geographic Images of Asia for its Asia without Borders program in Singapore. Donell Gumiran also awarded as Photographer of the year by the Filipino Times 2017 UAE. In addition, he was also one of the winners in the Life Framer World Travelers Competition judged by magnum photographer Steve McCurry. Most of his works have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo,and Rome. He was awarded also as Curtin Dubai's Photographer of the Year - Urban Art Festival 2018. On the home front, Donell was recently chosen by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts under the office of the President of the Philippines to receive the coveted "Ani ng Dangal Award 2018 & 2019." "I think my real accomplishment was that I was able to use photography as a significant instrument to help the world for the better. My work gives me a chance to capture and preserve memories of our time." He sits on the Board of Directors as creative director of Team Juan Makasining, and uses this position to encourage other photographers to express themselves through their art. "Start as passion, not as a profession." - Donell Gumiran
Charles Harbutt
United States
1935 | † 2015
Charles Henry Harbutt (July 29, 1935 – June 30, 2015) was an American photographer, a former president of Magnum, and full-time Associate Professor of Photography at Parsons School of Design in New York. Harbutt was born in Camden, New Jersey, and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, and learned much of his photography skills from the township's amateur camera club. He attended Regis High School in New York City where he took photographs for the school newspaper. He later graduated from Marquette University. Harbutt's work is deeply rooted in the modern photojournalist tradition. For the first twenty years of his career he contributed to major magazines in the United States, Europe and Japan. His work was often intrinsically political, exhibiting social and economic contingencies. In 1959, while working as a writer and photographer for the Catholic magazine Jubilee, he was invited by members of the Castro underground to document the Cuban Revolution on the strength of three photographs he had published in Modern Photography. An editor at Jubilee while Harbutt was working there, Robert Lax, used photographs taken by Harbutt for the front and back cover of his first book of poetry, The Circus of the Sun. Harbutt joined Magnum Photos and was elected president of the organization twice, first in 1979. He left the group in 1981, citing its increasingly commercial ambitions and the desire to pursue more personal work. He taught photography workshops, exhibited in solo and group shows around the world, and joined the faculty of the Parsons School of Design at New School University as a full-time professor, in addition to serving as guest artist at MIT, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Harbutt was a founding member of Archive Pictures Inc., an international documentary photographers' cooperative, and a member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers. His work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of American History, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the U.S. Library of Congress, George Eastman House, the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Center of Photography, the Center for Creative Photography, and at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Beaubourg, and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. In 1997, his negatives, master prints, and archives were acquired for the collection of the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. He mounted a large exhibition of his work at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City in December 2000 and received the medal of the City of Perpignan at a retrospective of his work there in 2004. He died in Monteagle, Tennessee, on June 30, 2015, at the age of 79. He had emphysema.Source: Wikipedia Charles Harbutt’s early fascination with magic and the elusive line between perception and reality steered him toward journalism and its documentary role, first as a writer. But he altered his course in 1959, when he was 23, after being invited by Cuban rebels to document the Castro revolution. Immersing himself in Havana’s convulsive and euphoric newfound freedom, he recalled, “I soon understood that I could get closer to the feel of things by taking pictures.” Mr. Harbutt went on to become an accomplished photojournalist for major magazines and the renowned agency Magnum Photos. “He and Burk Uzzle took photojournalism and pushed it in a direction away from literalism or classicism,” Jeff Jacobson, a former colleague, told The New York Times, referring to a contemporary whose pictures of the Woodstock music festival in 1969 gained wide attention, “away from certainly the European paradigm of Cartier-Bresson, and away from the narrative paradigm of Gene Smith to something very, very different, very involved with metaphor.” But Charles Harbutt became disillusioned with his craft, questioning the veracity of the events he was covering, particularly after witnessing undercover government agents provoke violence at a rally in New Haven in 1970 in support of jailed Black Panthers. “The kinds of stories I chose to do, I later realized, were mostly about American myths,” he wrote in his last book, Departures and Arrivals (2012). “I photographed small towns, immigrants, the barrio in New York, and then the enormous changes that came with the ’60s. I tried to be a witness as well as show my feelings about all of this. But maybe I had a sell-by time — expiration date — for being a witness,” he continued. “In the early ’70s, I started questioning this reportage for myself. A host of manipulators had so corrupted and warped public events, I could no longer trust the authenticity of what I was seeing. I realized that I was more interested in pajamas on a bed one Brooklyn morning, or a Dublin woman hauling groceries to her house, than I was in the machinations of politics and history ‘writ large.’ ” Mr. Harbutt experimented with surreal composition and juxtaposition of quotidian forms in a style he described as personal documentary and facetiously branded “superbanalisms.” Among his most famous black-and-white photographs was one of a blind boy, seemingly trying to transcend his sightlessness by reaching for a ribbon of light on a wall. In another, a bride in a flowing white gown poses pensively below exposed pipes and empty tables in a large basement before her wedding reception. Charles Harbutt’s own favorite, called “Mr. X-Ray Man,” was shot through a car window on the Rue du Départ near the Montparnasse train station in Paris, where fragments of the cityscape and even of the photographer himself can be seen reflected in the glass. What made it special was that it was unexpected, he explained in Arrivals and Departures. “What I like best,” he wrote, “is that however the picture is made, it’s a surprise to me when I see the photo come up in the developer.”Source: The New York Times
Elizabeth (Lee) Miller
United States
1907 | † 1977
Lee Miller, 1907-1977, first entered the world of photography as a model in New York to photographers such as Edward Steichen, Arnold Genthe and George Hoyninguen-Huene. In 1929 Miller moved to Paris and became the assistant, and lover, of Man Ray. Together, they produced some of the most significant works of both of their careers, including rediscovering the solarisation technique in Man Ray’s darkroom. She quickly became established as both surrealist artist and photographer in her own right and returned to New York to run her own studio with commissions for portraits, packing shots and editorials for Vogue magazine. Lee Miller spent several years in the mid 1930’s living in Cairo with her Egyptian husband, Aziz Eloui Bey. Bored of life in the city, she would travel by jeep through the desert on photography exhibitions and re-imagine desert landscapes with her witty and surrealist flair. In 1939, Lee moved to London and worked as freelance photographer for British Vogue magazine. Alongside this, her documentation of the Blitz was published in Grim Glory, a pamphlet encouraging the US to join the war effort. Lee Miller later became one of the first ever female war correspondents accredited to the US Army and travelled with the US troops throughout Europe during 1944 and 1945. She documented the liberation of Paris, the siege at St Malo and Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps. Perhaps most famously, she took a self-portrait sitting in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub in his Munich apartment, a statement of the end of the war. Lee Miller mostly abandoned photography later in her life and didn’t speak of her wartime experiences. Her former and final home, Farley Farm House, Sussex, England is now the base of the Lee Miller Archives which holds over 60,000 of her negatives as well as manuscripts and vintage prints. Over 3,000 images are available to view at www.leemiller.co.uk.
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Castro Frank is a Los Angeles based visual artist who has translated his personal experiences of growing up in the San Fernando Valley into a signature journalistic and candid approach to photography.
Exclusive Interview with Emerald Arguelles
Emerald Arguelles is a photographer and editor based in Savannah, GA. As a young visual artist, Emerald has become an internationally recognized photographer through her explorations and capturing of Black America.
Exclusive Interview with  Dave Krugman
Dave Krugman is a New York based Photographer, Cryptoartist, and Writer, and is the founder of ALLSHIPS, a Creative Community based on the idea that a rising tide raises all ships. He is fascinated by the endless possibilities that exist at the intersection of art and technology, and works in these layers to elevate artists and enable them to thrive in a creative career. As our world becomes exponentially more visual, he seeks to prove that there is tremendous value in embracing curiosity and new ideas.
Exclusive Interview with  Lenka Klicperova
I first discovered Lenka Klicperová's work through the submission of her project 'Lost War' for the November 2021 Solo Exhibition. I chose this project for its strength not only because of its poignant subject but also for its humanist approach. I must admit that I was even more impressed when I discovered that it was a women behind these powerful front line images. Her courage and dedication in covering difficult conflicts around the world is staggering. We asked her a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with  James Hayman
James Hayman is a photographer as well as a film / television director, producer, and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition September 2022
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in September 2022