Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was born in Paris in 1928. A French artist, innovator and revolutionary of fashion photography, Bourdin is one of the most influential photographers of the second half of the 20th century.
Beginning his career with painting, Bourdin learned photography while serving in the army in the late 1940s. In the early 1950s, he became a protégé of one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, Man Ray. It was during this period that Bourdin became interested in surrealism. Subsequently, one of the most famous surreal images of the author will be a picture of Louise Despoyntes for Vogue in 1970, in which several pairs of identical hands are superimposed on each other and close the eyes of the model.
Guy Bourdin is best known for his vivid color shots with unusual, surreal, sometimes shocking compositions and paradoxical plots. Already in the early black-and-white works, you can see how certain techniques were born, which will be developed in later works made in color.
As an uncompromising photographer, Guy Bourdin always defended his author’s freedom and never obeyed the rules of fashion photography and the dictates of editors. For forty years, the creator surprised and shocked readers of glossy magazines with provocative images, pushing the boundaries of commercial photography and changing the viewer’s ideas about fashion photography. In the second half of the 1990s, Bourdain worked for Harper’s Bazaar magazine and shot advertising campaigns for Versace, Chanel, Loewe and other brands. Guy Bourdin was one of the first authors working in commercial photography who abandoned the direct presentation of a product in favour of an artistic image.
Bourdin drew inspiration from literature, film, and art history, drawing on the works of surrealists Man Ray and Rene Magritte, photographs by Edward Weston, and films by Louis Bunuel and Alfred Hitchcock.