los-angeles

Guy Bourdin

Fahey/Klein

His annus mirabilis was 1976. While continuing to work for long-term clent Roland Jourdan of Charles Jourdan shoes, Guy Bourdin created advertising campaigns that year for Gianfranco Ferré, Complice and Callaghan (designed by Gianni Versace), Madame Grés, and Loewe, among others, and still managed to put together his dazzling “Sighs and Whispers” lingerie catalogue for Bloomingdale’s. In some sense the only “book” he published of his work in his lifetime, this eerie opus is an influential combination of commerce, fashion, and art—well, if not art, then photography as its unruly, promiscuous doppelgänger.

Bourdin is frequently called a surrealist, a term that fails to account for his sly, sexually and psychically spiked images. Too many critics invoke his difficult childhood to explain the implied violence, troubled atmosphere, and misogynist undercurrents of his early work rather than

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