PRINT May 2016

Shea Spencer

Gianni Versace print advertisement, fall/winter 1994–95. From left: Nadja Auermann, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, and Stephanie Seymour. Photo: Richard Avedon.

YOU ARE NEITHER PENALIZED NOR REWARDED for being an artist who does fashion photography. On either side of that art/fashion fence, the situation is compartmentalized and there are no free rides. You won’t attract more collectors or better reviews because you’ve made successful fashion images. By the same token, you won’t get any extra points for a fashion commission just because you had some great art shows—so what? It’s a competitive field, and companies are spending a lot of money on ad campaigns; they will give commissions to the photographer who makes the most compelling image for their purposes, full stop. It’s about the ability to create striking work in both fields.

There is, of course, a long tradition of artists in the commercial realm. In modernism alone, I love that Georgia O’Keeffe did work for the Dole pineapple juice campaign in 1939. Many dismiss these paintings

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