Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin, one of the 'best known photographers of fashion and advertising of the second half of the 20th century' according to Wikipedia, states his case for fashion photography as art with a plush elephant and a dead hooker. This is a man with unrealised dreams of shooting in a morgue, using cadavers as models; rather an unashamedly telling attitude to the industry. A few of his pieces are available to view at his website, and more here; in case you were wondering, the 'Surprise' section might be appropriately retitled 'unrewarded curiosity'.

Apparently, David Bowie has an opinion. Here it is. For a concise summary, read the italics :

Since the advent of AIDS and the new morality, and, of course his death, his dark sexy fatal style had fallen out of Vogue. An uncompromising photographer, he had found a twisty avenue through desire and death. A white female leg sticking gloomily out of a bath of black liquid enamel. Two glued up babes covered in tiny pearls. The glue prevented their skins from breathing and they pass out. 'Oh it would be beautiful,' he is to have said, 'to photograph them dead in bed.' He was a French Guy. He had known Man Ray. Loved Lewis Carroll. His first gig was doing hats for Vogue. He'd place dead flies or bees on the faces of the models, or, female head wears hat crushed between three skinned calves heads, tongues lolling.
What was this? Fine Arts? The surrealists might even think his work passé. Well, it was the `50s, that's what it was.
The tight-collar `50s seen through unspeakable hostility. He wanted but he couldn't paint. So he threw globs of revengeful hatred at his nubile subjects. He would systematically pull the phone cord out of the wall. He was never to be disturbed. Disturbed. Never. Everything and everyone died around him.

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