19 April – 7 June 2008
The striking aspect about modern fashion photography is: it’s becoming more and more uniform. Pick up any glamour magazine and look at the advertisements of the important brand names. Handsome youths who can just about differentiate between the luxury brands if you were to cover up the logos. The same applies also to the editorial pages. Fashion photographers in general are given complete freedom there as long as there is a clear listing of which supermodel is wearing which super brand in the credits. But here, too, the result is uniform: breathless model looks bored, staring into the lens. No suggestions there, not even a wink.
Luckily there are photographers who have their own clear style, who take pleasure in scratching at the thin veneer laid over the fashion world in a stylish way. Like Miles Aldridge. Both his assignments and his own work present the vision of another world. It is an autonomous universe of powerful images, full of references to classic films. Models and brand names seem to be just an afterthought as the whole atmosphere is more important. The feeling produced is strong and eccentric, but also humorous. Sometimes hyper-realistic (mother with child in the kitchen), sometimes hyper-fairytale (the girl against the flowery background), sometimes hyper-traditional roles (the watch series) and sometimes hyper-scary.
If you look a bit longer, then you will notice a certain discomfort underlying the world of glamour. As if something terrible is just about to happen. Miles Aldridge definitely does something more than shooting beautiful pictures. His work has various layers, which gives viewers who know their art history an added pleasure. See the photos from the ‘shopping series’ with its cheerful colour cacophony of pop art, or the Madonna’s inspired by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini’s statue, The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.
Admirers of ‘still lifes’ will also be amazed. Miles Aldridge charmingly contradicts the prejudicial idea that the world of luxury and fashion is only superficial.
For this exhibition a new book has been published: Acid Candy, 124 pages, full colour, with a text by Glenn O’Brien, editorial director of Andy Warhol’s Interview and Art in America, author and editor of the book Sex by Madonna, as well as with a quote by David Lynch.