The work of fashion great Guy Bourdin was my favorite exhibition in Arles. I found his photos for French Vogue and numerous big names in high fashion to be extremely creative, energetic and well-thought out. His photos really captured the exciting aura of the fashion world throughout the mid-twentieth century. I love his use of color and lighting within his photo story entitled “A Message For You.”
My favorite photo in the exhibition was an image of a model in a slip and silk robe running through an apartment as if she were getting ready in a hurry. The best part of the photo was the metal chair in front of her that cast an amazing light into the camera along with the deepest shadows. The contrast captured in this photograph is amazing. Even though the model exuded 70’s glamour with voluminous waves and candy red lips, something about the aluminum chair brought even more allure to the photo in my opinion. I think this also speaks volumes about the time period. The hair was bigger, the pant legs were wider and the jewelry even brighter. Bourdin painted a perfect picture of what French fashion meant in that time period.
Above all, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Bourdin’s lesser known works. It was great to see the modest beginnings of a legend. From his photos of landscapes to portraits of artists and friends, I found hope and encouragement. It inspired me and shed light on all the possibilities I have in the world of photography.