Guy Bourdin

2 February - 5 April 2012

Guy Bourdin, born in Paris in 1928, was one of the most radical and influential fashion photographers of the twentieth century. His unique blend of surreal and erotic imagery filled the pages of international magazines such as French Vogue during the 1970s and also became synonymous with the revolutionary advertising campaigns for Charles Jourdan. Rejecting the typical ‘product’ shot in favour of staging unsettling scenarios that hint at consumption, sex and desire, his photographs sought to shock and ignite the viewer’s curiosities.


Bourdin realised that it is not fashion itself that seduces people but the fantasy it represents. Psychodrama and the theatre of the absurd pervade his work; a true master of the storyboard, Bourdin rigorously planned his compositions for fashion shoots to suit the format of the printed page.  Conceived long before the advent of digital retouching, he went to tremendous lengths to produce highly stylised images, often pushing his models to their limits to achieve his desired vision.


In very few cases were his pictures published or exhibited outside of the transient medium. This exhibition introduces rarely seen before, limited edition work of some of his most captivating images - including a selection from his renowned series for the Pentax Calendar of 1980. Michael Hoppen Gallery is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Guy Bourdin. 

Installation Views