Erwin Blumennfeld: the hidden secret of beauty

by Marisa Fatás,

erwin_blumenfeld_1939 erwin_blumenfeld_1943 erwin_blumenfeld_1944erwin_blumenfeld_1945 erwin_blumenfeld_1946 erwin_blumenfeld_1949 audrey hepburn 1952 - by erwin blumenfeld erwin_blumenfeld_1955

Some things never go out of style, or rather, they are still modern. That is to say they throw new arrows to the senses and put it on warning. This is the case of the graphic work of Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969), photographer and versatile artist. Originally from Germany, his collages and photomontages place him at the scene of Dadaism and Surrealism, aesthetic inclinations later applied to his late career in the world of fashion photography. In 1938 he made his first work in this field for Vogue Paris and in the mid-40s he moved to the U.S, where he began working with the art director of Vogue, Alexander Liberman, a transcendental association for his career.

His visual imagination, his personal way of understanding the aesthetics of art and his commercial pragmatism allowed him to work for the most influential art directors and wealthier advertising clients and become the most famous and highest paid fashion photographer of his time. Despite his extraordinary success, he hated being called “commercial photographer” because that prevented the recognition of his work by art galleries and museums in New York. However, between 1958 and 1964, Erwin found output for his artistic concerns through experimental videos made ​​for his clients Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden and L’Oreal. The artistic potential of moving images that “dress the fashion” and his understanding of the woman’s body allowed him to demonstrated that he was able to express his ideas in a more intellectual and sophisticated way than in the world of advertising photography.

From March 5 to May 6 there is an exhibition at The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of PhotographyErwin Blumenfeld: a hidden ritual of beauty“, an approach to the work of this artist through nearly 300 pieces. With this selection they intended to show us how to discover the hidden secret of beauty that Erwin Blumenfeld knew so well.