AP8 celebrates photographer Guy Bourdin with The Art of Fashion
RUSSH recently brought together an intimate group of art lovers for the pre-launch of AP8’s Art of Fashion featuring works by Guy Bourdin, the late artist with a legacy that spans more than sixty- ten years, continuing to have a fundamental impact beyond its primary medium of fashion photography. Iconoclast and visionary, Bourdin was an artist whose images have formed a blue imprint and point of reference for generations.
Admirers of Bourdin’s work can purchase limited series of his photographs, an idea curated by Viola Raikhel. All images will be produced in a limited run of 999 and will arrive framed, ready to hang in homes as the artist intended. The provenance of each piece will be established through shorthand cryptography, a small section of pixels, invisible to the naked eye, serving as a fingerprint.
AP8 is reinventing art collecting by producing certified works from some of the world’s most notable artists, making them accessible to a new audience of collectors. Each collection is curated and produced as a unique series of AP8 limited editions and the team works directly with the artist and their estates to finalize the intricacies when curating a range. The collections are not reissued and once exhausted will not be reproduced.
Born in Paris, Bourdin was first trained as a painter and first exhibited a series of drawings and paintings in the early 1950s. When engaged in compulsory military service in Senegal, he began to working as an aerial photographer in the French Air Force and after leaving the service continued to paint and take photographs. Bourdin’s early works are categorized by highly orchestrated images – heavily influenced by cinema – and include images constructed on the Normandy coast of his childhood, a place he would return to many times throughout his career.
In 1955 Bourdin began working with Vogue Paris and this move led to a revolution in his work and a fundamental change in the direction of the magazine. Prior to her work at Vogue, the publication was categorized by standard photographic fare that presented clothing and accessories in a predominantly commercial light. Still, Bourdin had a more artistic vision for the magazine and over the following decades he would go on to revolutionize the format of Vogue Paris through stylized and complicated layouts and images.
Frédéric Arnal, director of the Guy Bourdin estate, describes the artist’s impact as limitless, a highly influential figure who galvanized the prospects of future photographers.
“All it takes is a simple Google search for ‘Guy Bourdin’ to realize how influential his work is and how his presence on art and fashion is still very palpable. Today’s most recognized designers the always referencing as an influence on their work. One thing we are often surprised by is the reaction we get from people who were unaware of his work and realize it was done 50 years ago. They usually believe in it. I think Bourdin was able to capture the spirit of the times while being very sensitive to what could be the future.
Bourdin’s enduring legacy can be defined on two fronts: belief in the power of narrative and tone, alongside dynamic stylization through color. He influenced not just how fashion photography looks, but basically what it is.
Shop editor Jess Blanch’s favorite photographs from the curated collection below.