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Guy Bourdin (French, 1928–1991)
LOT ID: 78872
Untitled, 1975

Cibachrome
15.5 х 11.6 in. (39.37 x 29.46 cm.)
Unsigned
Lot description
Image and sheet size both 15.5 x 11.6 x inches (39.4 x 29.5 cm).

Guy Bourdin (b. 1928) was born in Paris and received his first training as a photography while serving in the French military in Senegal in 1948. His work was first shown in Paris in 1952 and he began working for French Vogue in 1954, where shoe company Charles Jourdan became his largest advertising client beginning in the 1960s. At Vogue, Bourdin commanded an unprecedented amount editorial control. His radical approach to campaigns reflected changing attitudes in advertising that occurred in the 1960's: he favored images that suggested a narrative around the product, rather than a simple "product shot." He would capture a moment — sensual, provocative, shocking, exotic, surreal, sometimes sinister — and simply associate it with a fashion item. His work revealed that, within the context of fashion, it is rarely the product that compels us. It is the carefully manipulated fantasy, the quest for the unattainable, that stimulates consumer desire. Inspired by Surrealism, particularly by his mentor Man Ray, the surrealist painters Magritte and Balthus, and film maker Luis Buñuel, Bourdin rejected the descriptive roles of photography in favor of an exploration of the medium's capacity for the divergent. Bourdin made radical changes both in the style and the meaning of commercial imagery. He shared Helmut Newton's taste for controversy and stylization, but Bourdin's formal daring and the narrative power of his images exceeded the bounds of conventional advertising photography. Shattering expectations and questioning boundaries, he set the stage for a new kind of fashion photography. Bourdin worked for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and shot ad campaigns for Chanel, Issey Miyake, Emanuel Ungaro, Gianni Versace, Loewe, Pentax and Bloomingdale's. His son Samuel Bourdin released a book of his father's work, called "Exhibit A" in 2001 (co-edited with Fernando Delgado). His first retrospective exhibition was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London 2003, and then toured the National gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and Jeu de Paume in Paris.

Untitled by Guy Bourdin
  • Untitled by Guy Bourdin
  • Untitled by Guy Bourdin
  • Untitled by Guy Bourdin
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