As if it needed further emphasis, the relationship between fashion and photographer has been underscored on the regional level of late by the unprecedented number of lookbooks being produced by shops and designers. And so it seems an appropriate time to celebrate that symbiosis with a proper art show: Notions of Beauty: NW Fashion Photography Now is opening May 1 at the Art Institute's Steven Goldman Gallery, featuring "large-format prints, video, installation, and fashion objects" from the region's shooters, including Holly Andres, Lindsey Avenetti, Julia Barbee, Brendan Coughlin, Lavenda Memory, Sarah Moskovitz, BriAnne Wills, and curator Christine Taylor, among others—22 in all. According to the exhibit statement:
Fashion is so much more than clothing, it is an expression and a cultural statement about how to live, what we find inspirational, and what we desire. Without photography, fashion design would not have the presence it has in our culture. The relationship between designer and photographer is most valuable, and a good match is critical to reaching a larger audience. Photographers hold their own views on what is fashionable, views that revolve around tone, light, form and composition - in addition to fashion and trend. On account of this, many great designers look for a shooter not only with technical ability, but also with an idiosyncratic style. Alas in a more commercial era of lower budgets, the deadpan white walled lookbook, Instagram, and cameras that think for us, creative ideas with spirited viewpoints on beauty are often lost in translation. So we find ourselves asking, what is the creative testimony behind contemporary fashion photography without the brand?
The opening First Thursday party will run from 5-8 pm, and the exhibit itself will be up through the end of May.