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Following on from a post a few weeks ago about my use of colour, composition and possible influences, I've a couple more creatives who I think have exerted some sway over my own approach to image making. One from a few decades ago, one contemporary but in my mind both connected by a winding and brightly coloured aesthetic thread. 

Viviane Sassen's work walks a stylised path between fine art and fashion photography, being simultaneously both and neither. She's not afraid of colour and splashes it around with aplomb. Just when you thought there was nothing new to be done with the medium she brings a fresh twenty first century surrealism to the table (or should that be light-box or screen?). She uses bodies like props, limbs from several people forming new imagined beasts, albeit beautiful beasts. She seems to play with our lack of trust in digital photography, has it been Photoshopped or is it clever staging? 

Guy Bourdin could be Sassen's photographic Great Grandfather, born in Paris in the 1920's he was Man Ray's protégé absorbing his avant garde approach to photography and inventing his own stripped back nod to surrealism. Bodies become objects, objects become animate, acid colours scream and clash, fighting for attention. His images take on a more sinister voice if you read even a little about his life and his unsettling narratives seem to play out a series of misogynist fantasies. Despite or because of, he helped change the face of fashion photography, his images still looking contemporary several decades after his death.

I'm excited by both photographers and admire their use of colour and clean, graphic composition, which has probably been absorbed by osmosis into my own work. So above three new still lifes from me, and below some of my favourite examples of the aforementioned photographers.

If you missed my original blog post you can find it here:

Shapes Of Things

Four from Viviane Sassen:

© Viviane Sassen

Four from Guy Bourdin:

© Guy Bourdin


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