The late Guy Bourdin was a French fashion photographer who radically changed the direction of international style magazines from the 1950ís through the 1980ís. Best known for his surrealistic, unsettling work with French Vogue and Charles Jourdan shoes, his photographs shocked and fascinated readers, fusing high glamour with themes of violence, S&M, lesbianism and death.
Bourdinís work had a cinematic quality and in almost every case a dark side, although humor creeps in occasionally; especially in his Warhol-ish shoe portraits for Jourdanís weirdly amusing advertising campaigns.
The coffee-table book, Exhibit A: Guy Bourdin [Time Warner] is a miracle in the making, as the French government had seized all rights to Bourdinís work for back taxes, following his death at 62 in 1991. His son Samuel fortunately was able to settle his accounts and enable publication of these powerful images which until now, had only been seen in magazines.
Also contained in the book is a foreward by critic Luc Sante and an excellent biographical essay on the artist by Le Monde photography critic, Michel Guerrin. A must for photo buffs, surrealist freaks, and those with a generally twisted nature.