Friday, January 15, 2010

Richard Avedon

When I was in art school attempting fashion photography (since I was convinced I would be a fashion photographer, so much for convictions), I was told repeatedly, "but, you have to show the clothes".

I insisted that I had seen plenty of images where mood was evoked and very little of the actual garment was visible. Plus, I was much more concerned with the model as object (think: Helmut Newton) than I was in anyone actually wanting to wear the rags and strange choices I used for my fashion photographs. You could say I was "creative" in that being a student forces you to become very innovative with wardrobe and props.

It took me some time to become less defiant and to really understand what it meant to be a fashion photographer. Richard Avedon's fashion work epitomizes that statement I wanted to reject -- how really showing the garment is essential. And because his interpretations weren't always literal, that was his genius. How better to display what's for sale than to make it editorial, environmental, or a sculptural piece of fine art?

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