Today july 3th. we will have the pleasure to assist the presentation of the new projects of Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin at Rijks Museum in Amsterdam.
Stay tuned for the reportage.
Inez and Vinoodh met at the Fashion Academy Vogue in their hometown, Amsterdam, where they both initially studied fashion design—Vinoodh from 1981 to 1985 and Inez from 1983 to 1985. Inez took a Masters degree in photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (1985–90) and Vinoodh founded the Lawina clothing line with his classmate Rick Bovendeert. A commission for Inez to photograph the 1986 Lawina collection led to Vinoodh beginning to work with her, first as a stylist and eventually in 1995 as co-author of the images they produce together. The Lawina label closed in 1990 when Inez graduated and the pair began practicing as artists. A year-long residency awarded to Inez by PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York from 1992 to 1993 marked the beginning of a period of experimentation with digital technology, leading to a collection of sequences about computer manipulation. Using Paintbox software to smooth out and remove the nipples and orifices of nudes, Thank You Thighmaster (1993) aimed to illustrate elegance and horror. Final Fantasy (1993) attempted to focus upon child sexuality by digitally grafting the mouths of men onto the faces of toddler children.
As Inez and Vinoodh’s notoriety burgeoned in the art world, the fashion community became equally captivated by their early editorial assignments for the style magazine BLVD in Amsterdam, where the two were now living. A breakthrough story republished as For Your Pleasure in British style magazine The Face in April 1994 added high-octane glamour to the dark and unsettling tenor of their work and marked them engaging with fashion explicitly as the subject of their work. Collaborating with Belgian designer Véronique Leroy, they formulated a visual vocabulary of slick, predatory figures, shiny surfaces and erotic poses that they set against hyperreal backdrops constructed from stock, picture library imagery. The resulting tableaux flew in the face of the prevailing taste for documentary-centered style photography, pre-empting the end of the so-called “grunge” aesthetic and earning Inez and Vinoodh all-important editorial commissions for elite fashion magazines Visionaire and Voguetogether with their first advertising contracts for luxury brands Hervé Léger and Vivienne Westwood.
Inez and Vinoodh returned to New York permanently in 1995 to meet ever-increasing demands for them as assignment photographers and they have been prodigious in their output ever since. Working with a team of loyal collaborators comprising the most progressive stylists, art directors, hair and make-up artists, lighting specialists, models and recurring celebrity sitters, their extensive list of editorial contributions includes luxury fashion titles Vogue, Paris Vogue, Vogue Italia, W, Visionaire, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Hommes International, Vogue Nippon and Vogue China as well as style magazines Purple Fashion, Interview, V, V Man,Self Service, Another, Pop, i-D, Fantastic Man, and The Gentlewoman. While Inez and Vinoodh’s imagery runs the stylistic gamut from high glamour to classical portraiture and conceptual tableaux, at its heart is a unique and highly recognizable lexicon of playful pose and extreme gesture. Devised largely in collaboration with the choreographer Stephen Galloway, it is this language that consistently transports their photographs from mere sartorial studies into something transcendent and strange.
Highly sought after as society photographers, Inez and Vinoodh have captured definitive portrait sittings with many of the key figures of film and celebrity. They have photographed four of The New York Times Magazine’s renowned “Great Performers In Film!” portfolios, in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010, featuring definitive sittings with Clint Eastwood, Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray, Daniel Day-Lewis, Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Shirley MacLaine, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Mila Kunis, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Javier Bardem, Viggo Mortensen and Julianne Moore. In 2007 Inez and Vinoodh were guest photographers of the legendaryPirelli calendar. Citing a cast of actresses young and old as their erotic heroines, their black and white close-ups of Sofia Loren, Penélope Cruz, Naomi Watts, Hilary Swank and Lou Doillon, shot in a private bedroom setting, proved to be one of the most intimate and sexually powerful of the calendar’s history.
Perhaps the greatest measure of Inez and Vinoodh’s commercial success and influence are the many advertising campaigns they have photographed for the most prestigious fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain, Nina Ricci, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Isabel Marant, Giuseppe Zanotti, Lanvin Homme, Miu Miu, Christian Dior Joaillarie, Gucci, Chloé, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Yohji Yamamoto, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, Donna Karan, DKNY, Stella McCartney, Brioni, Moschino, Loewe, Mulberry, Emanuel Ungaro, Louis Vuitton and Helmut Lang. They have also created memorable advertising imagery for fragrance and cosmetics brands Chloé Fragrance, Thierry Mugler Fragrance, Viktor & Rolf Parfum, Chanel Makeup, Lancôme, Narciso Rodriguez, Shiseido, Juicy Couture Fragrance, Gucci Sport Fragrance and Estée Lauder.
Motion image has been part of Inez and Vinoodh’s productivity for over a decade; initially in music video — CD covers for Björk led to their watershed video for her single Hidden Place (2001), created with art directors M/M (Paris)—and increasingly in the burgeoning genre of fashion film. Inez and Vinoodh collaborated with Stefano Pilati and Stephanie Cohen on Your Skin Against My Skin as part of the presentation of the Yves Saint Laurent Homme autumn/winter ’09–’10 collection. Their Girls On Film short, rendered using cutting edge Red camera technology, was commissioned to launch Paris Vogue’s iPad application in autumn 2010.
Inez and Vinoodh directed Lady Gaga’s 2013 music video for “Applause”.