Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was born in Paris.
Louise Alexander Gallery is exclusively representing The Guy Bourdin Estate.
Born in France in 1928, Guy Bourdin is best known for his highly experimental photography. Predominantly working in colour Bourdin was a key contributor to French Vogue from 1955 to end of the 80’s, pushing the boundaries of fashion photography, presenting bold often provocative images with a unique contemporary aesthetic. Shot in France in the 1950s Bourdin’s early experimental work bridges the gap between Surrealism and Subjective Photography, simultaneously drawing on the past while at the same time adopting current trends. The past in his case is the influence of surrealism which can be seen in the way in which Bourdin approaches still life and portraiture. This surrealist influence in his work is often attributed to his close relationship with Man Ray, who in 1952 wrote the catalogue forward for Bourdin’s first solo exhibition. 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 colours. 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 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.
His work has been exhibited in the most prestigious museums, such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern, The Jeu de Paume, The Getty Museum, 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.
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