photography

Guy Bourdin: Polaroids

One of the Polaroid's acknowledged masters, Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) brought to the medium an uncanny ability to combine the snapshot feel with a strong patina of glamour, and of course plenty of sexiness. A protégé of Man Ray, and best known today for his controversial fashion photography, Bourdin like his teacher often brought an edge of menace or discomfort to his eroticism, with surrealistic props and implied narratives. Like the Surrealists, he often devised ways to bisect the female form, usually by cropping out above the waist; all these traits of Bourdin's fashion photography are to be found here, in this selection of 98 Polaroids, most of which have never previously been published. Ranging in formality from casual seaside erotica to darkened interiors with disembodied legs and arms poking into the frame, these images step outside the safety of the fashion shoot, conjuring a real-life realm steeped in an ominous sexuality.