GI BURDEN – PROVOCATION OF GENIUS FASHION-SHOOTING
Photos on the pages of glossy magazines that can be seen today are similar to each other. They do not differ intricate frame. Others were the works of fashion photographer Guy Burden: extraordinary, breaking stereotypes, innovative. Each shot arouses a number of emotions in the soul of the audience, including a lack of understanding of what is happening. Perhaps this is the secret of their immortality. To understand or not to understand … but to look away from them is truly difficult.
Despite the fact that the camera was picked up by Gui Bourdain rather late, his work is known not only in narrow circles of professionals, but also among admirers of the art of photography.
Guy Bourdin was born in the capital of France. It happened on December 2, 1928. At the time of the birth of his child, his biological father was barely 18 years old. Very quickly, young parents realized that they were not ready to build a family and divorced. Mother abandoned one year old child. This, according to many psychologists, in the future affected his work and relations with women. He did not stand on ceremony with models that later recalled with horror about shooting in cold studios and harsh working conditions.
Guy did not stay in the orphanage. He was adopted by Maurice Desire Burden, from whom he derived the surname. In childhood, the boy did not think about the career of a photographer. He was fascinated by cycling. At the age of 18, the young man was seriously engaged in painting. For a while he was even going to devote his life to this craft. However, the military service he did in Dakar (1948-1949) changed everything. Burden was assigned to the air force, and then a photo appeared in his life.
Upon returning home, Burden got a job as a photo seller. At the same time he worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant and saved money for professional photography equipment. Also, before joining the fashion industry, Guy Bourdin managed to work as a courier at the US embassy. All the time he was accompanied by painting. In parallel, he improved his photography skills – he studied independently, at the works of famous masters of various genres.
The key point in Guy’s life was getting to know Man Ray, whose work caused controversy among people. Some admired his surrealistic works, others saw no value in them. Bourdain belonged to the first category of people, and Ray began to support the young photographer. Soon, Burden began to present his work at general exhibitions, and later a well-known patron helped organize a personal one. Talent Burden noticed editors of fashion publications, and his career quickly went up.
The work in the fashion world attracted Burden, and he accepted an offer from the editors of Vogue. This cooperation lasted about 40 years. At the same time, the photographer shot advertising campaigns for such fashion brands as Charles Jourdan, Chanel, Versace, Bloomingdale’s, etc. In addition to Vogue, he collaborated with the famous publishing house Harper’s Bazaar.
The photographer didn’t immediately develop his extraordinary style. At first, his works were close to the standards set at that time. However, with each new photo shoot Guy Bourdain pushed the limits of what was permitted. Models have always noticed that working with Guy, who was equally demanding of himself and others, was incredibly difficult, but the end result was always amazing.
The fashion photographer, who created mostly advertising shots, was able to draw the viewer’s attention not to attractive models, but to the product being sold. In addition, each picture was perceived not as a separate episode from the life, but as a whole story, in which there is a plot and subtext.
Publishers who collaborated with Guy, gave him complete freedom, and he enjoyed it, embodying the most ambitious plans. In addition to glamorous pictures in his collection, you can find rough and, in some places, cruel photos.
The success of Burden is due not only to the natural gift and special vision of the world, but also the lack of desire for popularity. For him, only the process of filming was important. Exhibitions and publication of books, participation in photo contests and prestigious awards never deceived Guy. Guy Burden has many followers. Some of them were able to realize their creative potential, and became famous photographers (Mert Alas, Nick Knight, etc.). Burden has completely changed the concept of feminine beauty and glossy photos. He was deservedly recognized as an outstanding fashion photographer of the 20th century.