Tag Archives: Conceptual Ideas

Icons of Tomorrow: Contemporary Fashion Photography

Susie Smoking 1998/2011, © Nick Knight

Exhibition on view through June 2, 2012.

Christophe Guye Galerie
Dufourstrassse 31
8008 Zurich, Switzerland
+41 44 252 01 11

Photographers such as Nick Knight, David LaChapelle, and Terry Richardson all straddle the fence between commercialism and fine art. The practice of fashion photography is highlighted with international stars at the Christophe Guye Galerie, where a group of artists known as the Icons of Tomorrow, embraces their subject matter using compelling conceptual ideas and provocative, colorful approaches.

The allure behind this type of photography is investigated by these nine renowned photographers that have shaped the genre, to see where it falls between art and commerce.

Featured artists: Miles Aldridge, Kate Bellm, Guy Bourdin, Ina Jang, Nick Knight, David LaChapelle, Walter Pfeiffer, Terry Richardson, and Albert Watson.

Nick Knight appeared in Aperture issue 197.

Mary Ellen Bartley

Looking at participants from Photolucida…

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Mary Ellen Bartley’s work-I featured it on LENSCRATCH after Photolucida two years ago and again this January. This year, Mary Ellen brought a new series, Standing Open, that is an evolution of her previous projects. Three images from earlier series: Paperbacks, Blue Books, and Book Series are featured below.

Her new series, Standing Open, allows us a peak into what is beyond the cover, yet still brings a painterly and abstract sensibility to the work.

This is my fourth series of photographs looking at books. While shooting my stacks and rows of tightly closed paperback books I started seeing some of the standing books loosen up and show bits of the space between their pages. I was drawn into the uniquely beautiful interior space of the books. I began opening all kinds of books and placing them standing open around my house where sunlight might fall on them. This quickly became a project of looking into my photography books in a new way, falling into and out of the books, falling into and out of abstraction.

A Road Divided

This work interests me on many levels. First is the sheer beauty of the physical books and the unique formal discoveries of looking at them close up. Among the repeating formal motifs I’ve found are the stripes the pages create, the shadowy voids between pages that read like burns or stains, and the reflections the photos can make on the pages facing them.

All the More Real

On another level I’m fascinated by conceptual ideas concerning appropriation and reproduction in a mechanical versus digital age that the work can’t help but throw into question. Finally what drives the work for me is the emotional connection I have to the books. I’m trying to evoke the sensuality and intimacy of reading and looking through books as well as the fleeting inspiration, little jolts of connection I find in photo books I love.

( Note : the photographs are titled with the photographed book’s title )

At the Edge of the Decipherible

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Kohei Yoshiuki The Park

Sleeping by the Mississippi

Summer Nights Walking

The Dusseldorf School of Photography

The Edge of Vision

The Waking Dream