You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.

Ansel Adams  

Stimulating an emotion, telling a story, provoking a sensation or sending a message: these are some of the requirements (together with the rules of photographic composition) to obtain a good photograph. Our senses, our emotions are called into play, both as spectators and as photographers.

Photographers such as Ansel Adams – American, famous for black and white photos - and Henri Cartier-Bresson – French, famed for his reportage - over the years have turned photography from a practice to a form of art. They have created a style that sets them apart, as did the legendary French photographer Guy Bourdin (1928-1991). With his style curious and bizarre he revolutionized not only the world of photography, but also that of fashion. Some of his masterpieces are housed at the Chanel building in Ginza - designed in 2006 by the American architect Peter Marino - with an exhibition entitled "The Absurd and The Sublime".


All images ©︎Lamberto Rubino


An extraordinary artist, Guy Bourdin fascinated the world with unexpected shots. Bold and visually unforgettable, his works have played an important role in the history of Vogue magazine. From 1955 to 1987 he completely revolutionized the magazine's illustrative and monochromatic style made of provocative, sensual, and colorful images. His work was mainly devoted to fashion advertising photography. The accessories (shoes, bags, lipsticks, nail polishes) were always highlighted in his photos.




Eroticism, the link between sex and violence, the interaction of lights and shadows, hyper-realistic colors were important factors in his photographs. He deemed violent representation as a game to attract the audience, turning it into something fascinating.


Influenced by Surrealism - an avant-garde artistic and literary movement of the twentieth century that expressed a superior, irrational reality by revealing the deepest aspects of the psyche - Bourdin explored the distance between the absurd and the sublime. His unique and unconventional artistic vision expanded the limits of fashion photography.




Photography has two essential elements: creativity and the distribution of spaces within the frame. Both are certainly crucial also in Bourdin's photographs, especially creativity. From the image composition - the selection of objects, characters or scenes - up to the final printed page, his work was maniacal. He grouped the photographs in multiples or sequences, repeating sections of the image or creating unexpected overlays to captivate the public.



Photographic masterpieces such as those of Bourdin - that range from intrigue to bizarre - were made even more interesting by the staging of the exhibition. A simple yet impressive design, with white walls and diagonal cuts to connect one room to another, made the path pleasant and exciting. It has been conceived in such a way that the visual flow does not lose continuity, with a logical sense, enhancing its main theme.