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Looking to the past thinking of the Future

Caroline Ribeiro

Thinking about moving into the next year, I decided to dig up an oldie but goodie from Steven Meisel Italian Vogue 2001.

The Fashions of the East, past and present, have proven to be timeless and it seems as if their allure will never fade.
I had always noticed this growing up looking @ a myriad of Fashion magazines.
Western artists have been hugely inspired by the diverse, colorful, geometric qualities of Eastern art.
Artists such as Picasso, began to emulate and incorporate the expressive power of African styles into their work. It became considered as Avante Garde, or pushing the boundaries of the norm.
From the “Fall of Print Editorial” the Fashion Photographer was forced to re-invent him/herself as a social being and was forced to re-create a new cultural place and new purpose for unsanctioned art. The New idea of Imagemaker must fulfill multiple purposes, providing art and the artist with a new and exalted role in society. The artist must be a free and independent creator who is an innovator and pushes art to change. As the new aesthetic theories develop, the world continues to split between the avant-garde who rebel and displease the public and the academics who conform and please the audience.

I have always seen The Fashion Photographer’s role as a seer who, through art, brings new insights into life.

This beautiful story was shot by Steven Meisel, a pioneer of contemporary photography whose pictures are inspired by anything from Art History to current news, yet always have a distinctly classic look. His Models are placed in lavish settings and he uses colors and compositions akin to those used by great European masters. On Many occasions in Italian Vogue he deliberately and meticulously stages his pictures to create allegorical images of modern society and make incisive comments on contemporary issues.

His Artistic content is divided between escapist Fantasies and the Fashions of the day. Meisel represents the Western fascination for the “Mysterious and Exotic” Middle East, while at the same time reflecting the new UnChecked Imperialism, Colonialism, & consumption of High Capitalism.

Western Art delights in the themes of sex and violence.
The “East” is seen as open territory to be subdued and conquered by the West by sexual desires and the people could only benefit from their benevolent rule.

These are some thoughts I have as I enjoy these Amazing Images.

One response to “Looking to the past thinking of the Future”

  1. Piper, Your analysis of the fashion photographer’s role as
    an artist is right on point. I appreciate you sharing the work of
    Steven Meisel. I love photography and see why he is such a notable
    photographer. I look forward to learning more about Black models
    and culture through your blog. Peace, Khalid

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