The Evolution of Fashion Photography

With so many exhibitions and monographs dedicated to photography and its best artists, it is hard to imagine that the genre was not so curious that it was rarely in the middle of Highbrow’s studios. That’s exactly what Eugene Shinkle discovered when he started his research nearly ten years ago.

“My fascination with fashion photography comes from my doubts that the genre is largely ignored in the academic world,” said Shinkle, a photography professor at the University of Westminster in London. “With a few exceptions, the experts were very reluctant to participate seriously in this case,” he said. “Undoubtedly commercial, it had been reduced to” advertising alone. “Until recently, until it appeared in the galleries, it was considered short-lived because it would not be permanent and not created with artistic intent or criticism. People did not think his story would be treated like this.”

Having published “Fashion as a Picture: Visualization and Verification of Fashion Photos” in 2008, explains why the genre deserves an intellectual investigation, he now publishes “Fashion Photography: History of 180 Images”. A summary of the most important text. Personalities that make up the genre of evolution. From Camille Silvy became a diplomat studio photographer in the 1850s, to the modern creative couple Maurice Schelten and Liesbeth Abbenes, who specialize in abstract still life. The group launched by Aperture documents several movements and bending points.

“The history of modem photography reflects an increasing confidence in the ability to express itself expressly around the world,” Shinkle said. “First, he was explicitly unwilling to participate explicitly in politics, but since the late 1960s it has become increasingly open, open and obviously political in nature.”

After World War II, photographers like Henry Clarke referred to the woman’s changing role in society and described them as “independent and controlled,” writes Shinkle. Artists like William Klein have parodyed fashion conferences and have encouraged their peers for self-criticism. Even Richard Avedon was a revelation: “I learned to appreciate his depth and talent when he saw how he had invented himself in the middle of his career and how passionately he would use color patterns … Creative and political, he is one of the greatest fashion photographers in the twentieth century. “

In the 1990s, especially thanks to the British magazine “The Face”, the grunge movement, which raises questions about gender, capitalism and social respect, is shown in the most important publications that pave the way to today’s brain association. Work Collier Schorr’s paintings, such as the issue of gender flow, ideas of desire and identity building, while Chen Man talks creatively about China’s complexity.

Seeing the people in the group also shows how conservative the industry was. Most photographers on the list are white men with western education. This is partly due to the author’s and editor’s decision to monitor what was considered an introduction. “We focused on the West because it was located in big fashion houses and publications,” Shinkle said. “I had to make this decision early, would I include several urban data such as camera photographer Samuel Fosso, who has done an incredible job inspired by fashion since the 1970s? Limited to the so-called pure fashion image?

It reveals how difficult it is to take traditionally marginalized groups seriously. A typical example: women were rarely behind the camera in the early 1900s. Yva, Madame D’Ora and Toni Frissell were pioneers who “worked at a time when a trained woman did not make photography considered a technical job”. His presentation and his technical strength and his unique perspective are to look at the history that has often been ignored. Similarly, the introduction of Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee, known in African American society, is hardly known at that time, “the reason why industry exclusivity and whiteness were evident during these years”.Although it is now a richer team, it is still a long way to go.

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