In a timely bow to one of the unsung heroes of fashion photography, Milan’s Galleria Carla Sozzani will this spring play host to two retrospective exhibitions of the late, great Guy Bourdin.
Not graced with the same public acclaim as his contemporary Helmut Newton - though no less influential – Bourdin was an artist in the broadest sense of the word. His photographic work synthesises themes of desire, death and sex and the result is nothing if not sensual and provocative. Languid women drape themselves across his frames; stilettos teeter, backs arch and flesh is, of course, exposed.
The two exhibitions, ‘A Message for You’ and ‘Unseen’ will celebrate in suitable style the melancholic decadence of Bourdin’s later photographs. Taken predominantly from the late 1970’s, the work is both menacing and seductive - and if like us you’re easily seduced, Bourdin will soon have you under his spell.
With his influences lying on the edge of the surreal – his mentor, Man Ray looms large - Bourdin’s work itself has in turn gone on to influence some of the greats, with Nick Knight, David La Chapelle and undoubtedly David Lynch, countable among his followers.
Galleria Carla Sozzani
corso Como 10
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Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.
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