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From being a painter to a self-taught photographer, Guy Bourdin never forgot that the power of any art discipline lies in creating fascinating narratives. Under the direction of Francine Crescent at Vogue Paris, Bourdin obtained a complete creative control – with visual clues and hidden meanings, the French artist was finally ready to challenge commercial fashion photography. Featured in the March 1972 issue of Vogue Paris, this photo clarified the point: with intense colour saturation, Bourdin narrated or rather generated a modern interpretation of The Origin of the World, by Gustave Courbet. By playing with different angles and different positions the viewer can adopt when looking at a scene, Guy Bourdin pioneered an unprecedented technique in fashion photography – crating some surreal compositions to narrate a deeper thinking on a so-called provocative content. Is she sleeping or pleasing herself? Not finding a clear answer is the real objective.
Guy Bourdin for Vogue Paris, March 1972.

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