Editorial: Artist Review - Publication: The Magazine LA Back to Editorials

Fahey Klein - Photographer Patrick Demarchelier Oct 16-Nov29

Patrick Demarchelier is a veritable patriarch in fashion photography circles, a reliable source (his LA Assistant) tells me that at the age of 60, the New York based photographer is still industrious and relentless in his work ethic and output. At the age of 17, Patrick Demarchelier started his career as photographer. By working as an assistant, he learned the secrets of the profession and by the late sixties, his photographs were featured in Elle and Marie-Claire. In 1975, Demarchelier moved to New York, where he established himself as a fashion and portrait photographer and by 1992 he was recognized by the top fashion designers and hired to shoot international advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Armani, among numerous other designers.

An impressive assortment of black and white shots are on show here. Demarchelier is undoubtedly a competent photographer, though his collection of work displayed at Fahey Kline speaks more about the virtues of artisan over artist. While a hitlist of iconic models feature in this selection of fashion, celebrity, portrait and nude photographs from throughout his career, the focus is on the subject of each photograph, rather than them standing alone as any expression of creative vision. Contentiously, these photographs are informational documents, not art pieces. Still who could argue about the visual appeal ( or salability) of a nude Cindy Crawford, Helena Christiensen or Giselle Bundchen in some stunning Newtonesque moments Willowy model Natasha Poly, seated on a cow, offers reprieve from what appears to be generic catalogue of nude models shot in black and white. Ultimately the work comes across as generic and ornate - pretty yes, but also bland, formulaic an unobtrusive. Perhaps the issue is curatorial, with a greater need to tap this enormously talented photographers diversity rather than simply his safer pieces.

Written by Craig Stephens

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