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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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More Great Photographers To Discover

Beth Moon
United States
1956
San Francisco Bay Area artist, Beth Moon, has gained international recognition for her large-scale, richly toned platinum prints. Since 1999, Moon’s work has appeared in more than sixty solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Italy, England, France, Israel, Brazil, Dubai, Singapore, and Canada. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Fox Talbot Museum in Wiltshire, England. In 2013, Between Earth and Sky, the first monograph of her work, was published by Charta Art Books of Milan. In 2014, Abbeville Press published, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, with a third book to follow that same year from Galerie Vevais, La Lange Verte. Moon studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin before moving to England where she experimented with alternative photographic processes and learned to make platinum prints. Source: www.vervegallery.com Beth Moon was born in Neenah, Wisconsin and studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin. Classes in painting, life drawing, sculpture, and design would set the groundwork for her work in photography, which was to come years later. Moving to England, a country with a love for all things arboreal, gave her a fresh look at a land that boasts the largest concentration of ancient trees. Inspired by these trees she decided to make a series of their portraits. Unhappy with the photographic tonality and stability of ink-jet printing, she started to experiment with alternative printing processes, learning platinum/palladium printing, an ideal process for her vision. She concentrated on mastering this printing technique, doing all of her own printing. “By using the longest lasting photographic process, I hope to speak about survival, not only of man and nature’s but to photography’s survival as well. For each print I mix ground platinum and palladium metals, making a tincture that is hand-coated onto heavy watercolor paper and exposed to light. There are many steps involved in creating the final print and these are as important to me as the capturing of the image," said Moon. A platinum print can last for centuries, drawing on the common theme of time and survival, pairing photographic subject and process. Source: www.josephsaxton.com
Jennifer Garza-Cuen
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Joseph Rafferty
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Joseph Rafferty's projects are his artistic statements. When he was eight, his mother died. She went on vacation to Hawaii, and returned in a coffin. The boy was immediately uprooted from free and love-filled life, and forced to live with a freshly born-again Christian father, who became Joseph's newly self-appointed spiritual leader. An environmental lawyer who didn't ensure the safety of his own child's environment. Joseph's father silenced individuality, demanded polite compliance, and along with his stepmother, kept a still-grieving child tethered to linear thinking, Joseph did not develop the art of verbal expression. He quickly learned to swallow truth and hide pain. Photography became a powerful thread of connection to his emotion and spiritual ideas, laced with the harsh realities of a flawed culture, and the ironies within his family's worldview. Photography was an open window in his prison, giving fresh breath to a starving soul, and it became a pivotal foundation in his metamorphosis. It provided the theatre of the mind with a stage, creating space for growth and transformation beyond the stifling shell that threatened to entomb. Thriving on the sunshine of his bohemian mother's love. Joseph's nonlinear and free imprinting is counterculture's birthplace, San Francisco a land of a thousand languages, a thousand sexualities. This critical period of exposure deep seeded beliefs and values into the young child's subconsciousness he loved to see love. When his mom passed - her fashion colleagues & community sent words of condolences + small gifts of money. During his military enlistment Joseph would return to the photography store his mom frequented. With the small gifts of cash from letters of condolence he purchased large & medium format cameras and tripods. If I purchase cameras she's always with me. In doing so, he channels her instrumental spirit - a spirit guiding him from the pain and anger of his youth, and led to light. Through loving memory of her unconditional support, Joseph's found a peace and purpose in life, grounded in relationships with his partner and their children, mindful of certain pitfalls in our culture, and dedicated to the unedited, true expression of unique experience. Photography has been a life-line of expression during Joseph's stay on earth, feeling most grounded when his ideas materialize to visual imagery. Motivated by a passion for social justice, Joseph lives in a realm of beauty amongst pain. His visual linguistics are sculpted props and drawings, through which his visceral experiences emerge as a visual tapestry. Weaving images that provoke emotion and encourage empathy for others despite differences, Joseph's visuals are moments of "things as they are experienced psychologically, rather than things as they are scientifically" (William Mortensen). His body of work also influenced by early foundational years among the Redwood trees, his service in the United States Military, and his education at Art Center College of Design. Heavily inspired by Arnold Newman's manipulation of existing light, Joseph captures images with all formats of cameras. His photographic subjects begin with an idea explored through sketches further developed through research (literature, current events, locations, and style), and are materialized through intuitively sculpting of props. Each detail becomes a tool in building a landscape of meaning.
Iness Rychlik
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Alfred Eisenstaedt
Germany
1898 | † 1995
Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 24, 1995) was a German-born American photographer and photojournalist. He is best known for his photograph of the V-J Day celebration and for his candid photographs, frequently made using a 35mm Leica camera. Eisenstaedt was born in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany in 1898. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt was fascinated by photography from his youth and began taking pictures at age 14 when he was given his first camera, an Eastman Kodak Folding Camera with roll film. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army's artillery during World War I, and was wounded in 1918. While working as a belt and button salesman in the 1920s in Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Pacific and Atlantic Photos' Berlin office in 1928. The office was taken over by Associated Press in 1931. Eisenstaedt successfully became a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable, early pictures by Eisenstaedt include his depiction of a waiter at the ice rink of the Grand Hotel in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish. Because of oppression in Hitler's Nazi Germany, Eisenstaedt emigrated to the United States in 1935 where he lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for the rest of his life. He worked as a staff photographer for Life magazine from 1936 to 1972. His photos of news events and celebrities, such as Dagmar, Sophia Loren and Ernest Hemingway, appeared on 90 Life covers. Eisenstaedt was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1989 by President George Bush in a ceremony on the White House lawn. Eisenstaedt, known as "Eisie" to his close friends, enjoyed his annual August vacations on the island of Martha's Vineyard for 50 years. During these summers, he would conduct photographic experiments, working with different lenses, filters, and prisms in natural light. Eisenstaedt was fond of Martha's Vineyard's photogenic lighthouses, and was the focus of lighthouse fundraisers organized by Vineyard Environmental Research, Institute (VERI). Two years before his death, Eisenstaedt photographed President Bill Clinton with wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea. The photograph session took place at the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard, and was documented by this photograph published in People magazine on September 13, 1993. Eisenstaedt died in his bed at midnight at his beloved Menemsha Inn cottage known as the "Pilot House" at age 96, in the company of his sister-in-law, Lucille Kaye (LuLu), and friend, William E. Marks. Source: Wikipedia Born in Dirschau (now Poland), Alfred Eisenstaedt studied at the University of Berlin and served in the German army during World War I. After the war, while employed as a button and belt salesman in Berlin, he taught himself photography and worked as a freelance photojournalist. In 1929, he received his first assignment that would launch his professional career--the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. From 1929 to 1935 he was a full-time photojournalist for the Pacific and Atlantic Picture Agency, later part of the Associated Press, and contributed to the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and other picture magazines in Berlin and Paris. In 1935, he came to the United States, where he freelanced for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Town and Country, and other publications. In 1936, Henry Luce hired him, along with Margaret Bourke-White, Peter Stackpole, and Thomas McAvoy as one of four staff photographers for the new LIFE magazine. Eisenstaedt remained at LIFE for the next 40 years and was active as a photojournalist into his eighties. In 1988, he was honored with ICP's Infinity Master of Photography Award. Eisenstaedt was among those Europeans who pioneered the use of the 35-millimeter camera in photojournalism as they brought their knowledge to American publications after World War I. He was also among the earliest devotees of available-light photography. Unlike many photojournalists in the postwar period, he was not associated with a particular kind of event or geographic area: he was a generalist. As such, he was a favorite among editors, not only for his quick eye, but also for his ability in making good photographs of any situation or event. His nonjudgmental but acutely perceptive eye and his facility with composition have made his photographs memorable documents of his era both historically and aesthetically. Source: ICP
Sebastião Salgado
Salgado was born on February 8th, 1944 in Aimorés, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Having studied economics, Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris, working with the photo agencies Sygma, Gamma, and Magnum Photos until 1994, when he and Lélia Wanick Salgado formed Amazonas images, an agency created exclusively for his work. 

He has travelled in over 100 countries for his photographic projects. Most of these, besides appearing in numerous press publications, have also been presented in books such as Other Americas (1986), Sahel: l’homme en détresse (1986), Sahel: el fin del camino (1988), Workers (1993), Terra (1997), Migrations and Portraits (2000), and Africa (2007). Touring exhibitions of this work have been, and continue to be, presented throughout the world. 
Salgado has been awarded numerous major photographic prizes in recognition of his accomplishments. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States.

In 2004, Salgado began a project named Genesis, aiming at the presentation of the unblemished faces of nature and humanity. It consists of a series of photographs of landscapes and wildlife, as well as of human communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures. This body of work is conceived as a potential path to humanity’s rediscovery of itself in nature. 

Together with his wife, Lélia, Salgado has worked since the 1990’s on the restoration of a small part of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. In 1998, they succeeded in turning this land into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra. The Instituto is dedicated to a mission of reforestation, conservation, and environmental education. (Amazonas Images) 

"I have named this project GENESIS because my aim is to return to the beginnings of our planet: to the air, water and the fire that gave birth to life, to the animal species that have resisted domestication, to the remote tribes whose 'primitive' way of life is still untouched, to the existing examples of the earliest forms of human settlement and organization. A potential path towards humanity's rediscovery of itself. So many times I've photographed stories that show the degradation of the planet, I thought the only way to give us an incentive, to bring hope, is to show the pictures of the pristine planet - to see the innocence. And then we can understand what we must preserve." —Sebastião Salgado Salgado currently lives in Paris with his wife. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery After a somewhat itinerant childhood, Salgado initially trained as an economist, earning a master’s degree in economics from the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He began work as an economist for the International Coffee Organization, often traveling to Africa on missions for the World Bank, when he first started seriously taking photographs. He chose to abandon a career as an economist and switched to photography in 1973, working initially on news assignments before veering more towards documentary-type work. Salgado initially worked with the photo agency Sygma and the Paris-based Gamma, but in 1979, he joined the international cooperative of photographers Magnum Photos. He left Magnum in 1994 and with his wife Lélia Wanick Salgado formed his own agency, Amazonas Images, in Paris, to represent his work. He is particularly noted for his social documentary photography of workers in less developed nations. They reside in Paris. He has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2001. Salgado works on long term, self-assigned projects many of which have been published as books: The Other Americas, Sahel, Workers, Migrations, and Genesis. The latter three are mammoth collections with hundreds of images each from all around the world. His most famous pictures are of a gold mine in Brazil called Serra Pelada. Between 2004 and 2011, Salgado worked on "Genesis," aiming at the presentation of the unblemished faces of nature and humanity. It consists of a series of photographs of landscapes and wildlife, as well as of human communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures. This body of work is conceived as a potential path to humanity’s rediscovery of itself in nature. In September and October 2007, Salgado displayed his photographs of coffee workers from India, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Brazil at the Brazilian Embassy in London. The aim of the project was to raise public awareness of the origins of the popular drink. Together, Lélia and Sebastião, have worked since the 1990s on the restoration of a small part of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. In 1998, they succeeded in turning this land into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra. The institute is dedicated to a mission of reforestation, conservation and environmental education. Salgado and his work are the focus of the film The Salt of the Earth (2014), directed by Wim Wenders and Salgado's son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The film won a special award at Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Academy Awards. Source: Wikipedia
Elisabeth Hase
Germany
1905 | † 1991
Elisabeth Hase (December 16, 1905 – October 9, 1991) was a German commercial and documentary photographer active in Frankfurt from 1932 until her death in 1991, at the age of 85 Hase was born in Döhlen bei Leipzig, Germany. She studied typography and commercial art from 1924 to 1929 at the School of Applied Arts, and later at the Städelschule, under, among other teachers, Paul Renner and Willi Baumeister. Hase was active as a photographer during the time of the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich and through post-WWII Germany. She was able to avoid government oversight of her work by establishing her own photographic studio in 1933. Hase's work included surreal photography, such as close-up photographs of dolls. She received several awards, several for paper designs and collages. During a two-year collaboration in the studio of Paul Wolff [de] and Alfred Tritschler [de], Hase took architectural photographs in New Objectivity style for the magazine Das Neue Frankfurt (The New Frankfurt) and documentary photographs of modern housing projects, including those of Ferdinand Kramer. In 1932, Hase started her own business. It focused on timeless designs like still life, structures, plants, dolls, people, especially self-portraits. Often she used herself as a model in her photographic “picture stories.” Cooperation with agencies like Holland Press Service and the Agency Schostal[2] enabled her to publish her photographs internationally. Despite the bombing of Frankfurt in 1944 by the Allies, Hare's photographic archive survived the war without major damage. Many of those works are now part of the collections held by the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany, in the Albertina (Vienna) in Vienna, and in the Walter Gropius estate in the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, as well as in private collections in Germany and abroad. Despite loss of her cameras and other technical equipment in the chaos of war, Hase was able to resume taking photographs in 1946 by the help of emigre friends who provided her with film and cameras to use. Among others subjects Hase documented was the reconstruction of St. Paul's Church in Frankfurt. From 1949, her work focused on advertising, consisting mostly of plant portraits. Hase died at the age of 85 in 1991 in Frankfurt am Main. Source: Wikipedia This new discovery is a rich body of work by a female artist who was photographing during the time of the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich and through post-WWII Germany. Hase's photographic compositions are comparable to a number of her avant-garde contemporaries such as Florence Henri, Ilse Bing, and Germain Krull. Elisabeth Hase (1905-1991) was born in Germany and began her artistic studies in 1924 at the Art Academy in Frankfurt. During World War II Hase was able to avoid the politicization of her work by retreating to her studio. This however would not prevent her work from being wholly untouched by the war. During the air raid on Frankurt in 1944 her cameras and other equipment were lost however, quite remarkably, her archives of glass and film negatives survived. Most intriguing are Hase's self-portraits which experiment with identity and perceived reality. In one self-portrait she has photographed herself in the reflection of a silver sphere, she and the room are warped on the convex surface of the globe. In another image she is sprawled over a staircase as if fallen, with shoes and purse strewn likewise over the stairs. This practice of role-playing and adopting different personas is seen throughout Hase's portraiture. Hase's work has been shown in museums across Germany including; the Folkwang Museum, Essen; the Historical Museum, Frankfurt; and the Museum of Photography, Braunschweig. Hase's work was exhibited in the show "Who is Afraid of Women Photographers?" at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France. Her work in found in prominent museum collections internationally, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Ackland Art Museum, the Chrysler Museum of Art, Folkwang Museum in Essen, The Albertina Museum in Vienna and The Bauhaus Museum of Design in Berlin. Source: Robert Mann Gallery
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