Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Guy Bourdin

Guy Louis Bourdin was born December 2, 1928 in Paris, and died March 29, 1991 in Paris. He was born Guy Louis Banarès, and was a French fashion photographer. Bourdin had a complex relationship towards woman, some say this is due to his mother abandoning him as an infant, and other dark times he had regarding women in his childhood, but does this excuse how he treated women, or did he even need an excuse, you decide.

A lot of his photos stared red headed, pale skinned, heverly made up  models, which were purposefully reminiscent of Bourdin's mother. The scenes he used were carefully manufactured, even them of a nature scenes, for he would manipulate the natural lighting with reflectors and such to create a surreal feeling to his photos, his photos that reflected a life of misery

The models Bourdin used had to have little or no pride to work with him, for he would treat them wickedly, some may say. For example, his studio was refereed to as a dungeon, for it was dark, allowed no contact with the outside world, for lack of a phone, and to get to the dimly lit toilet the models would have to walk down to the cellar, across some planks of wood laid across bare soil, which made the models scared that rats or mice might be around. This apparently amused Bourdin. Reflective of his attitude towards women, I would say so.

Bourdin didn't want his photos to be given a longer life than that of a magazine page, for that is where a lot of his photos were published in the '70s. Bourdin refused book publishers requests and ideas for books staring his photos. He just had a reluctance to preserving his photos.
Bourdin would obsessively pursue perfection, only to have the images destroyed, which was his request to be carried out after his death. Was the end product the photograph, or was it the process that mattered so much to him? Again another question which is up to you to decide.

I found this documentary about Guy Bourdin and his work to be very interesting.


Post a Comment