One of the most influential fashion photographers of our time, Peter Lindbergh has died at the age of 74.
Here are highlights of the German’s works from a past traveling exhibition.
Capturing Lindbergh’s vision
Peter Lindbergh took this photo of Daft Punk in France in 2013. The Kunsthal Rotterdam held a retrospective of the German photographer’s work in 2016. The exhibition was envisioned as a narrative providing insight into his vision, using previously unseen material, including personal notes, storyboards, props, Polaroids, contact sheets, and films.
A fashion icon
Even if you have not heard of Peter Lindbergh, you know his work well. He is credited with creating a new age in fashion photography after shooting five young models for British “Vogue,” essentially launching the era of the supermodel with the pictures capturing Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington in downtown New York.
Film inspires fashion
In his signature black-and-white shots, Lindbergh introduced a new realism into photography when he began to be noticed in the late 1970s and early 80s. He frequently turned to film for inspiring backdrops and played on the prototype of the strong, self-willed woman which helped redefine the beauty norms written by the fashion industry.
A responsibility ‘to free women’
Lindbergh took his position in society very seriously, saying in 2014 that his role as a fashion photographer is to “reflect a certain social or human reality.” In a later interview, he clarified by saying, “This should be the responsibility of photographers today: to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.” Pictured is Milla Jovovich during a 2012 Chanel shoot.
Photography that captures humanity, warts and all
Not a fan of Photoshop, Lindbergh is known for capturing the human face in all its imperfections. “How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?” he told Isabel Flower in an interview published in “Art Forum.” Shown here: actress Julianne Moore in 2008.
‘A dangerous form of snobbery’
Lindbergh was perhaps best known for the images he created for fashion spreads in “Vogue” and advertising campaigns shot for luxury design houses including Chanel. Still, he didn’t differentiate between his commercial and non-commercial images, calling the distinction between “commissioned” and “fine art” photography a “dangerous form of snobbery.”
The book: ‘A Different Vision on Fashion Photography’
To accompany the exhibition, which traveled to museums in Munich and Torino after its run in Rotterdam, the German publisher Taschen compiled over 400 of Lindbergh’s photographs in a book of the same name. The text by curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot includes greater insight into the photographer’s biography and working process.
The responsibility of the fashion photographer
“A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality,” Peter Lindbergh once said in “Art Forum.”
The influential German photographer has died at the age of 74 on September 3, 2019.
Featured image credit: DW