Bob Richardson, father of Terry Richardson, was a fashion photographer in his own right in the 1960’s and 70’s until his eventual decline from schizophrenia led to him becoming homeless and destitute.
In the prologue to his posthumous book Bob Richardson was encapsulated as follows:
Fashion photographer Bob Richardson (1928-2005) first began to publish his powerful, transgressive and emotionally charged black-and-white images in the high-fashion press of the 1960s, highlighting the new freedoms and attendant disillusions of the era in a distinctive, maverick style that matched his own edgy way of life.
Always a cult photographer (and widely credited with influencing such peers as Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber), Richardson was also plagued by schizophrenia, and he lived hard-experimenting freely with sex and drugs throughout a life of extreme highs and lows. For example, he is perhaps most famous for the profoundly compelling portraits he made of his then-partner and muse Angelica Houston in the 1970s, while the 1980s found him homeless and living on the streets of Los Angeles.
I first was exposed to Guy Bourdain‘s photographs on mass at the excellent exhibition of his work at London’s V & A museum in 2003. This was how they set him up for that exhibition:
At the heart of Guy Bourdin’s fashion photographs is a confrontation with the very nature of commercial image making. While conventional fashion images make beauty and clothing their central elements, Bourdin’s photographs offer a radical alternative.
Guy Bourdin presented fashion as the luxurious embellishment rather than the subject of his photographs. He magnified to centre stage dark fantasies, of lust, consumption and desire.
If David Bailey was the 60’s then Rankin was definitely the 90’s.
Co-founder of Dazed and Confused magazine, Rankin redefined sexy, edgy photography. His celebrity photographs abound but my favourite are his fashion shots – a selection of which are below:
Fashion is littered with failure – those that tried and fell, never to reach the dizzy heights of an ad in Vogue or some other moment in the sun.
Go-sees are the first step on that uncertain path to fame and fortune – aspiring models are sent to photographers to see if they have the certain something.
Juergen Teller recorded a whole years worth of footfall at his London flat come studio here a few from the hundreds that believed enough to try:
Brassai (1899-1984) is one of the great figures of twentieth-century photography. Born in Brasso, Hungary, he studied at the academies of Budapest before moving to Paris in 1924. Initially interested in painting, he turned to photography in the early thirties at the suggestion of fellow Hungarian André Kertész. He published his first book, Paris by Night, in 1933, which granted him recognition as a peerless chronicler of the city. At this time Brassai also became interested in graffiti and shared his discoveries with the Surrealist circles he frequented.
Brassai became interested in the marginal art form of graffiti in the 1930s, seeing it as a form of outsider art that could open the door to new forms of artistic expression. His atmospheric photographs capture the essence of this unfettered creation. Stark contrasts of black and white alternate with softer shades of grey that meld into one another, smoothing the harsh gouges typical of graffiti.
'In the wings at the Folies-Bergere'