From Richard Gere in American Gigoli to Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, the relationship between Giorgio Armani and cinema is longstanding. It makes sense then that the cinematic quality of photographer Guy Bourdin's work would be an inspiration to the Italian designer. Well, Armani is paying tribute to the narrative storytelling of the French image-maker with his latest exhibition Guy Bourdin: Storyteller, opening tomorrow as part of Milan Fashion Week at Armani/Silos.
‘At first glance, Guy Bourdin is not an artist with whom I have a lot in common: his language is clear-cut, graphic, and impactful. A sense of provocation is immediately evident in his work but what strikes me the most — and what I wanted to focus on — is instead his creative freedom, his narrative skill and his great love of cinema,’ says Giorgio Armani.
Born in 1928 in Paris, Bourdin is widely regarded among fashion’s most influential image-makers of the 20th century. The self-taught photographer worked closely with the biggest publications, including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and has shot campaigns for brands like Chanel. Known for his visual storytelling, like many image-markers Bourdin dabbled in the medium of film. In 2002, the Guy Bourdin estate gave Nick Knight access to never before seen archival films which have been edited by and showcased exclusively on SHOWstudio.
Established in 2015, Armani/Silos is the art and fashion museum dedicated to Armani's style and his many inspirations. With this latest exhibition, Armani has selected 100 photographs from the Guy Bourdin estate, from iconic images to lesser-known compositions yet to be exhibited. While the artist's signature saturated colours are sure to be on display, there will also be a selection of black and white images. Spanning Boudin's decades long career, the show will feature everything from advertising campaigns to editorials.
‘This exhibition is further confirmation of my intention to make Armani/Silos a centre of contemporary photography culture, embracing everything related to the Armani world as well as things that couldn’t be further from it,' Armani explains.
The Guy Bourdin: Storyteller exhibition is on from 24 February to 31 August at Armani/Silos.