ARTICLE: Shock of the New: The Next Wave

Susan Sontag once wrote, “The greatest fashion photography is more than photographing fashion.”  

Given the way the borders between commercial and fine-art photography have been bulldozed in recent years, she might have to amend her statement to declare: “Great fashion photography doesn’t have to be about fashion at all.”  

A new generation of fashion photographers cross those borders of genre as if on an interstate highway.  Inspired by the dramatic, narrative images of art photographers like Nan Goldin and driven by the need to connect visually and psychologically with sophisticated viewers, they create images in which style and fashion become allegory and expression.  

The work of these photographers – startling, stunning, wry, and often erotic – cab be seen now mostly in couture style magazines that eschew mass circulations of smaller but culturally influential audiences.  But we wouldn’t be shocked if many of these image-makers emerge as the new superstars of photography.  In fashion, as in art, the next big thing is closer than you think.

from American Photo, January/February 2001