An ode to beauty
HYERES INTERNATIONAL FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL / ERWIN BLUEMENFELD
… by Aude Penouty
Every year for its festival, at the villa de Noailles in Hyeres (French Riviera) exhibit work of famous photographers. And this time, my special favorite goes to Erwin Blumenfeld.
A famous American photographer of German origin. In the 30’s, being very implicated in the « Dada » movement under the pseudonym of Jan Bloomfield, he published collages mocking Adolf Hitler (remain iconic expressions of an early and visionary denunciation of Nazism). Then immigrating to USA in 1941, he started to work for fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and he literally revolutionized the fashion photography. Indeed, in the 40’s and 50’s he became a key figure of fashion photography and advertising, finding the perfect balance between black & white and colors, transparency and opacity, melancholia and sensuality. His work is full of grace and transports the pages of the fashion press to a distant and unknown land.
“Every page is seen by millions of people and we are responsible for the taste of tomorrow. Our pictures are the essence of a page and every page has to have its own face, its own spirit, to catch millions of eyes or it’s only a scrap of printed matter.” 1951. The Art and Technique of Color Photography, edited by Alexander Liberman, artistic director of Vogue US . The present exhibition presents a selection of photographs taken from fashion magazines and chosen for their experimental nature.