guy bourdin

i don’t normally do this…but i was researching riccardo tisci’s latest collection and came across a photographer that i’d never heard of called guy bourdin. it’s unfortunate that i only discovered bourdin’s work now, because in all honest, it is pretty hilarious and i felt the dire need to share it all with you! after all, sharing is caring.

image via trendland

bourdin was a french fashion photographer, who was living in paris for most of his life and career. bourdin actually got his start in the air force, taking photos as a cadet, and went on to pursue fashion photography upon his return from dakar in the 50s. from there, he became man ray‘s protege and the rest is history. after publishing photos in french vogue, he met women’s shoe designer charles jourdan and shot most of his ad campaigns during the late 60s to early 80s.

image via elizabethdunnfootwear

bourdin worked mostly in advertising but his shots have a really bizarre, exotic, at times grotesque quality about them that i find really intriguing, but also really hilarious. countless shots of detached body parts (obviously lots of women’s legs and feet for the footwear campaigns) that remind me of mannequins in store windows in a very strange, synecdochal world. his muse was, apparently, a fair skinned woman with pale red hair – seems romantic and lovely enough, but there were a lot of dark rumours intertwined with his personal life. the suicide of his wife and girlfriends inserted this kind of underlying sinister nature that definitely shows through his photos: the detached body parts take on a whole new meaning, right?

image via elizabethdunnfootwear 

his work had a very controlled theme, capturing a moment in medias res, so that the photos seem a singular instance within a much larger narrative. they often had a strong focus and a very exotic, sexualized appeal. provocative and risque to the very core, even in shots that were composed just of a woman’s feet.

image via elizabethdunnfootwear


image via randomramblingsthoughtsandfiction

i totally need to own that first shot as a huge print in (exciting news) my very own apartment! even with the undertones of these images, i find them so silly and charming! thoughts?


7 thoughts on “guy bourdin

  1. I really like this chaps work, I remember cutting some of his images out of a magazine a few years ago, thanks for the reminder, and yes you should totally get the first image up in your apartment!

    • definitely! after writing this, i did a bit more research and felt like there’s a lot of photographers these days that emulate his style (a lot of footwear campaigns, like aldo especially and at times, terry richardson) but nothing quite holds a candle to bourdin’s work in terms of theme, message or overall presence!

      thanks for reading!

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