Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Defying Photography

Photographers are now able to construct their own representation of the human face and body. Digital retouching enables them to transform physical attributes to an unseen scale, allowing young people to become old and men to become women.

Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin: Lady Gaga - V Magazine, 2011

Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin use technology to defy our perception of identity by bringing innovative elements into their photographs. Their work has graced the walls and pages of some of the world's finest galleries and fashion magazines.

Taschen has just published a sumptuous retrospective set celebrating two decades of Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin's fascinating work, which has brought them to the forefront in the fields of both art and fashion.

"We always say that what we do is shoot human beings, whether it is for fashion, which is a glorification of a certain aspiration, or showing an internal experience that means more in the art world." Ines van Lamsweerde 

Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin: Alexander McQueen, 2004

One thing is certain, you never remain indifferent to their photographs. There is always a disturbing quality to them which challenges our perception of reality in an irreverent and rebellious way.

In a time when every image is retouched to create people who look perfect with no wrinkles or spots it's refreshing to have artists who go against our need to be seduced by the allure of the ultimate super-human.

Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin: Kate Moss - Yves Saint Laurent, 2008

"When it comes to retouching wrinkles, we try to be as conservative as possible. But it is part of our culture now: we have all become avatars." Inez van Lamsweerde

Maybe in the future we will go far beyond image manipulation and plastic surgery, being able to manipulate genes in order to build up our predisposition to happiness and intelligence as seen in Gattaca, a film directed by Andrew Niccol in 1997 with Ethan Hawke, Jude Law and Uma Thurman.

Inez van Lamsweerde/Vinoodh Matadin: Pretty Much Everything
by Penny Martin, Michael Bracewell, Olivier Zahm, Bruce Sterling, Antony, Glenn O'Brien (£450, Taschen - Limited art editions available)

Other related posts:
'Erotic Chic' Fashion Images by Carine Roitfeld
A Decade of Fashion and Style
Happy Birthday Mario Testino!