These photos by Raymond Meier were first printed in Vogue US, February 2012. Meier then prints his photos, without the magazine information, alongside his yearly ad campaigns without their logos, together in books as art. The very same photos used to sell fashion, are re-sold in a book as art. See all his books here.
above original Vogue layout and below Meier's book
What makes a photograph fashion or art? Largely context. In a disposable magazine, or online fashion site, it is fashion, while printed in a book or framed in a museum it is art. One of the reasons I began this blog was because I have long felt that many, not all, but many fashion photographs are essentially art history of our time, transformed into commercial advertisements through logos, placement and circulation. These photos make a record of our time, like all art history before it, and in many instances are the most avant garde images being produced. Top fashion photographers like Steven Meisel have archived negatives and limited edition prints that vie for blue chip status. Fashion photography is art photography, but often in the secondary, post-production, post-publication consideration.
Raymond Meier, Vogue US, 2010
Meier's photographs are consistently beautiful. But there are also a group of photographers with such consistent vision that what we always see their lens over what we are even seeing. Irving Penn always delivered a Penn photo, no matter the client. In our era, we see similar consistency with Juergen Teller. When I see a Juergen Teller photo, I notice his color palette and his view of the world, then secondly the brand he is working for at the moment.
Juergen Teller, Marc by Marc Jacobs, S 2011
Juergen Teller, Vivienne Westwood, F 2012
Juergen Teller, Celine, S 2013
Is Juergen Teller selling fashion? art? or Juegen Teller? Is he even selling, or simply showing us a beautiful view of the world we live in like every artist before him?