I am always struck by the ambiguous nature of "fine" art in relation to "commercial" art -- they seem to so seamlessly overlap and borrow from each other that it becomes unclear what "art" really is. Some might argue that the difference is the intention (perhaps that "real art" isn't trying to sell anything). But, isn't all art selling something, even if it is just the artist him/herself or the ideology behind the art? Pondering these questions always leads me to find interesting connections between fashion photography and "fine" art. I love the juxtaposition, and while it rarely provides me answers, it definitely provokes a reaction. Any thoughts on this, dears?
These photos of Gisele Bundchen are so intriguing to me -- the mood, lighting and setting seem more important than the clothes themselves. Gisele is not Gisele, but a character.
But even more interesting is that they seem to be influenced by (or an homage to) contemporary artist Cindy Sherman's early 'film stills' series from the late 70's and her fashion series from the 80's.
Sherman borrowed her ideas from B-movies, foreign films, and Hollywood movies. But Sherman uses these influences to create photos that explore her own identity (or the notion of identity itself).
The photos of Gisele are more stylized versions of Sherman's, and they can never escape the connection with the model they feature...or can they?
I always find myself falling for aesthetics...beauty (or what I personally find beautiful). What I mean is, I find myself equally compelled by the fashion images and the fine art images.
But, the truth is, all art is derivative in some respects. Sherman borrows from film, fashion photographers borrow from Sherman...
The one major difference is that Sherman's work sells for millions at auctions today.
Sherman's photographs themselves are a commodity, whereas the clothing in the fashion photos are the commodity. And the model, too, I suppose. After all, Gisele is certainly worth millions.
I'm not really sure what I'm getting at here... I guess I am just interested in the way that images work and how they relate to our idea of "art." Maybe art is, as we've suspected all along, merely subjective?
Notions of "high" art and "fine" art seem outmoded and irrelevant. Where does that leave us?
[POP S/S 2004