Fashion Photography: Not just a pretty face

Hold on to your (Philip Treacy) hat…we are about to embark on our new project: Fashion Photography.   There are lots of preconceptions about fashion photography so over the next two weeks we will be shaking these up a bit. By using Stephen Bull’s Photography (Chapter 8: Photographs in Fashion) as a key reference we will unpick our way through images, ideas and issues that make this such a brilliantly rich theme.

Practical work will include both studio and location mischief, plenty of collaboration, and some healthy exorcising of stereotypical responses…


Our framework for contextual study will be something like this…
(Pinterest Board link and notes below with a big nod to Stephen Bull’s book)

The 1920′s – 1940′s: Elitism to…
Key Artists / Photographers: Adolphe de Meyer, Edward Steichen, Horst P Horst, George Hoyningen, Cecil Beaton…
Contextual connections: Influences of painting Pre-Raphaelites, Gustav Klimt…), evolving print industries, role of women and influence of WWI / II, Modernism, Surrealism…

klimt_de_meyer

The paintings of Gustav Klimt were one of the influences on Adolphe de Meyer, considered by many the first fashion photographer

…Accessibility: The 1950′s – 1970′s
Key Artists / Photographers: Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Erwin Blumenfeld, David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Richard Avedon…
Contextual connections: Influences of press and documentary photography (Don McCullin), world travel, feminism, fashion on the high street…

blumenfeld2

The work of Erwin Blumenfeld


The 1970′s – 1980′s: Fantasy
Key Artists / Photographers: Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts…
Contextual connections: Impact of the 1960′s, Punk Culture, the work of Nan Goldin, HIV / AIDS…

bourdin_newton
The work of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton

The 1990′s: Abject Realism (Heroin Chic) and Pre-Millennial Anxiety & Desire
Key Artists / Photographers: Corrine Day, Nick Knight, Jurgen Teller, David LaChapelle, Andrea Giacobbe…
Contextual connections: Postmodernism – retrospection / revivalism, social commentary, digital manipulation

rankin_giacobbe

The work of Nick Knight and Andrea Giacobbe

The 2000′s: Performance (and) Art
Key Artists / Photographers: Cindy Sherman, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nick Knight: ShowStudio
Contextual connections: Performance Art, Conceptual Art, the role of Art Gallery, digital technologies…

knight_sherman

The work of Nick Knight and Cindy Sherman

I’m looking forward to seeing the range of student responses and will post examples up as our experiments unfold. Any thoughts or ideas? Are there other artists / photographers that we should be looking at? Feel free to contribute to this next adventure…

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