Walking Legs

A couple of weeks ago I went over to Somerset House to check out their exhibition of fashion photographer Guy Bourdin's work.

It was very good. A proper photography exhibition. Lot's of work, well laid out in a big space, with a good amount of info on the work. (Not all galleries get this right, too many times I've left a gallery frustrated by good work being marginalised by poor exhibition design.)

One of the highlights was Bourdin's series called Walking Legs.
In 1979 he was commissioned to shoot an ad campaign for glamourous shoe designer Charles Jourdan. He took his partner, their son and an assistant on a roadtrip of Britain in his black Cadillac.
No models, just some mannequin legs & fancy shoes he stuffed in the boot with a couple of cameras.

These are most of the shots he produced.

Bourdin's own Black Caddy peering around the corner.

And they are very good. Over 35 years old and they still feel fresh.

With the tightest of constraints Bourdin produced a fascinating series of images that are much bigger than the sum of their parts. Images that are part of a fantastical, surreal world with menacing undertones that draw you in and leave you wanting to know more.

There's very little fashion advertising today that does that.

There's very little advertising today that does that.

 ps. Dave Dye has a very good blog post that explores more of Bourdin's work.

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