Exiting the comfort zone

by Patricia Valero,

Fuera de la zona de confort | itfashion.com

Cate Blanchett by Rineke Dijkstra

Minimalist portrait photographer Rineke Dijkstra shoots celeb photographs (here Cate Blanchett) that look miles away from those featured on any glossies.





A few weeks ago, Barcelona witnessed the opening of The New York Times Magazine. Fotografies exhibition, a retrospective already shown at Les Rencontres d’Arles photography festival, and also at the FOAM gallery in Amsterdam. This exhibition shows the important role of the afore-mentioned publication in shaping the possibilities of magazine photography through its commissioning and publishing of photographer’s work across the spectrum of the medium, from photojournalism to fashion photography and portraiture.

And one of the things that strikes us the most when contemplating the works shown is the Magazine’s Photo Editor and curator of the exhibition Kathy Ryan’s savoir faire when assigning the multiple jobs: instead of choosing, for example, the best fashion photographer to shoot a fashion reportage, she calls a landscape or a conceptual photographer in order to make them exit their comfort zone and, thereby, ends up with an innovative view and spectacular results.

As Ryan asserts, “often the best creative work happens when there is crossover between different disciplines. A film is painterly. A photograph is sculptural. Likewise, the Magazine is often at its best when we bring photographers to projects that fall outside their usual borders. When a fine artist takes on a news story, or a documentary photographer embarks on a fashion shoot, sparks fly from the page.

Fuera de la zona de confort | itfashion.com

Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander, a very well-known documentary photographer, gives us a very distinct view of a fashion show’s backstage: nothing to do with the glamour we’re used to.





Fuera de la zona de confort | itfashion.com

Alfred Seiland

In this very unusual fashion editorial, landscape photographer Alfred Seiland chose to shoot garments in isolation in order to underline their importance over that of the model.





Fuera de la zona de confort | itfashion.com

Selma Blair by Roger Ballen

Documentary photographer Roger Ballen transgresses the boundaries of his own work by shooting an obscure and eerie fashion editorial starring Selma Blair called The Selma Blair Witch Project.





Fuera de la zona de confort | itfashion.com

Jeff Koons

This is what happens when you ask fine artist Jeff Koons to grab a camera: actress Gretchen Moll in full Betty Page attire rides a plastic toy animal much like the sculptures Koons produces himself.





Fuera de la zona de confort | itfashion.com

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

Fashion photography’s extraordinaire couple Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin put all their inventiveness to work on a reportage showing several great performers. The results are as unconventional as any of their campaigns.