“I want to free women from the terror of perfection,” he said in an interview with La Stampa a few days ago. Among the first to denounce the abuse of Photoshop in the fashion industry (“Retouching is a crime”), Peter Lindbergh is currently and assuredly the most famous fashion photographer in the world. He chose to shoot the prestigious Pirelli 2017 Calendar and is simultaneously the star of a major exhibition opening in Rotterdam. A Different History of Fashion is a retrospective of more than 220 of his photos and includes rare and exclusive materials such as storyboards, props, polaroids and early works in black and white, illustrating his career from 1978 onwards. The exhibition will later become a travelling one.
Born in 1944 in Lissa, on the frontier between Germany and Poland, Lindbergh became a photographer by chance. While doing formal academic training in art, he found out that a photographer was looking for an assistant. He went for the job without knowing anything about photography. Intrigued by the idea of conceptual art, he immediately began to explore the borderline between ‘fine art’ and ‘commercial’, photography. He became a leader in the later, working on advertising campaigns for major fashion brands and for the main magazines in the sector.
With his minimalist approach and the black and white that has become his trademark. His work clearly had cinematic evocations and seeks out a model’s essence rather than their superficial beauty. The Cal 2017 is in line with this philosophy. It uses actresses and not models because they can have something to say. It’s a calendar that “doesn’t reveal a women’s body but rather their souls. It’s more naked than being naked”.
PETER LINDBERGH / A DIFFERENT VISION ON FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY
Kunstahl (Rotterdam) SEPT. 10, 2016 – FEB. 12, 2017