This Monday’s musings are of an arty disposition. Last week I popped along to Somerset House to check out Erwin Blumenfeld’s fashion photography exhibition. These images are simply stunning & despite being more than 50 years old, feel so modern the only thing giving away their age is the clothing.
Born in Berlin & from humble beginnings, Blumenfeld scaled the heights of fashion fame to become a leading contributor to US Vogue & Harper’s Bazaar in the 40s & 50s. The techniques displayed in these photographs could be easily created on Photoshop today, but the marvel is this was a time of film not digital, & Blumenfeld utilised frosted screens, clever lighting & even water to create some of the burnt-out, blurred & striated shots. You can see the inspiration of Man Ray in his work, whilst other images reference his colleague Cecil Beaton, both more famous but none more talented.
Keep an eye out for the image of Grace Kelly, the Chesterfield cigarette campaign (which feels almost naughty in this era of smoke-free advertising) & the iconic beauty image shown above. A superb & unique exhibition, I defy anyone of an arty inclination not to come away feeling truly inspired. & best of all it’s totally free…
Until September 1st, http://www.somersethouse.org.uk