Photographer James Pipino discusses the work of seminal photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, whose famed oeuvre is captured in TASCHEN’s new 704 page Pretty Much Everything.
Photography has always been about a collaboration of one sort or another. To create amazing pictures, a photographer needs to have a connection/relationship with the subject in the picture, the stylist, art director or fashion editor… Taking this collaboration to another level however, the collaboration between Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin is particularly spectacular. It has allowed them to be visionary in the production of both art and commercial imagery. not only side by side, but within a picture.
There is always something more to look at with the duo’s body of work. Even when looking at what a photographer would call a ‘classic’ portrait sitting on grey background – a pure, simple form of portraiture where it is easy to be led by the subject – Inez and Vinoodh manage to bring something more; they bring a story, a twist.
It’s incredibly difficult to make a photographic picture a valuable and important art piece. It is also very difficult to be relevant artistically and successfully commercial in the fashion industry over a long period of time, yet Inez and Vinoodh have not only managed to succeed at both, but also combine both. While their commercial work serves a purpose, and you can argue it serves their clients purpose, they have beautifully created signature Inez and Vinoodh pictures while shooting for each brand, magazine, campaign or personal piece.
As a photographer I enjoy their work because its a journey through the ages of photography, from classic portraiture, current fashion, to music. Land on any page in this 704 page monster designed by Paris studio M/M and you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at an image from 1980, or 1964, or 1955 or 2010. It’s all here, complete with a huge sheet of stickers (!!!). As the title says, Pretty Much Everything.
Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin: Pretty Much Everything
Out now through TASCHEN
704 Pages, Hardcover
By James Pipino
Photographer, founder of Unsigned Management