Make 3 fashion photographs that make use of the concept of the uncanny.
Below is a simple mind map of my ideas.
The idea of the uncanny is a strange or mysterious feeling, sometimes in an unsettling way. Other words to describe what the uncanny is, are:
So for this brief I decided to try and create fashion photographs that are as weird and uncanny as possible but still retain the look of fashion photographs. My work for this brief was inspired by Guy Bourdin, similar to his work for Charles Jourdan Shoes and photographer, Brooke DiDonato.
Below are my final 3 photographs.
When I first got this brief I thought I was going to really struggle for ideas. However as time went on and I started researching, I got quite a few ideas. Only a few I could do in the time frame as I would have needed other models and equipment for certain ideas. I quite enjoyed trying something different and messing around with the images and creating uncanny work as it is different to my usual commercial work. I do think it would fit in well with my commercial work in some aspects as something can still be uncanny and used for commercial purposes. An example of this would be Guy Bourdin's images for Charles Jourdan shoes which is where I got inspiration from for my images without heads and arms. Brooke DiDonato also inspired my other image with an uncanny pose where my model was leaning against a wall on her head. I am very happy with my final results as I like the colours and the idea of the uncanny. The last photo is my favourite image because it looks extremely uncanny due to the lighting and studio equipment being photographed in the frame. I really like how the image still has a commercial and high quality feel. I have learned to try and approach things differently and look at 'normal' everyday things in a new light.
If I was to do this again, I would definitely try something more uncanny and focus more on the environment around the subject. I would also try and do something less surreal as two of my final images can be seen as surrealist work even though they are still uncanny. I do see this however to me I feel that my final images are uncanny enough and surreal at the same time. Overall, I did enjoy this project and found it very interesting. I am going to experiment with the idea of the uncanny again in my own work as I found it very fun to create visually unusual things.
Artist Research - Guy Bourdin
He was born in Paris in 1928 and spent a lot of his life as a painter and taught himself photography. He worked for some large companies such as Vogue, Chanel and Charles Jourdan. During his 40 years in the industry, he developed a style which says that the image is more important than the product and that images can create narratives. Using the medium of fashion photography he created images that looked at the idea of the absurd and sublime. He is now most famous for his narrative images and surreal aesthetic.
Below are some of his images.
I find Guy Bourdin's work very uncanny and sometimes surreal. His use of composition and uncanny ideas makes his work instantly recognisable and iconic. These images above were used as commercial photographs for Charles Jourdan shoes which goes to show how Bourdin broke the 'normal' conventions of commercial photography and reinvented the typical parameters of commercial photography.
Artist Research - Brooke DiDonato
She is a New York based photographer. He images are uncanny and surreal as they tiptoe between reality and fantasy. Her style is using pastel colours and flowers in a domestic setting. Her images are meant to question human perception. Instead of distinguishing between reality and fiction, her images force viewers to merge the real and fantasy into one and create a personal reflection on the images.
Below are some of her images.
I really love her images. I love her use of colours and how she has really thought out the colour palette of an image even down to the props and environments she shoots at. I really like how she uses the idea of the uncanny, yet the images still appear slightly commercial-looking (focus on the fashion). I also like her composition and how some of her images have unusual compositions.