Edition 2019




With a painterly eye, Guy Bourdin created fascinating images through storytelling, composition, and color, exploring the realms between the absurd and the sublime. Using fashion photography as his medium, his photographs’ ambiguous settings, suggestive narratives, and surreal aesthetics radically broke with the conventions of commercial photography. He was able to touch generations of readers by creating a moment of magic using a transient form of expression—the glossy magazine page. His legacy and inspirational work is now exhibited and celebrated by major museums around the globe and numerous posthumous publications. This exhibition includes photographs selected from his editorial work for French Vogue and advertising campaigns for such clients as Charles Jourdan, Versace, and the Pentax calendar. A rare collection of Polaroids, demonstrating Bourdin’s interest in preserving an artistic record of the world around him, is exhibited for the first time, together with an equally rare collection of works in progress. Guy Bourdin’s inquisitive mind and eye make the journey simultaneously intense, surprising, and full of humor.

Exhibition curator: Shelly Verthime.
Exhibition accessible on presentation of the Rencontres d’Arles 2019 pass.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture