Guy Bourdin French 1928-91 No title (Model on orange sofa) c. 1978 (detail) © The Guy Bourdin Estate, 2004 Image courtesy The Guy Bourdin Estate / Art + Commerce Anthology

Guy Bourdin

NGV International

Ground Level

16 Mar 04 – 6 Jun 04

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. The fundamental significance of his photographs lies in Bourdin’s knowledge that it is not fashion but its image that seduces and fascinates us. Guy Bourdin was at the height of his career from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s.