Friday, 16 March 2012

Stories of Patrick Demarchelier  by Natalia Tkacheva

Patrick Demarchelier - one of the most successful and highly demanded photographers in the world. Born just outside Paris in 1943 at the age of 32 he moved to the USA. He specialises in fashion photography, directing photo-shoots for famous magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Vanity Fair to name a few. He works in various styles: colour, black & white and is well known for nude photography.

Each of his pieces are there to tell a story, but viewers of his work are required to use their own imagination to interpret the direction this story is going to take.

This article expresses the vision of Patrick Demarchelier's three selected pieces out of his many inspirational works.

The first was taken for a recently published Dior book. A gorgeous woman in a fabulous feathery Dior gown is pictured. Demarchelier so inventively plays with light that inevitably one wants to know, ‘Who is this woman? What are her secrets?’

An image of a strong and sophisticated character that is ready to take a massive step in her life. She believes that the future is full of hope and love; hence she is turned towards the light. However, like all of us she has something to hide. Past sorrows, tears, anger, hatred are left behind, and covered by the dark. It is both a very artistic and encouraging photograph… making you fall in love with this very special, elegant dress created by one of the most famous and traditional fashion houses. However, in looking deeper into the image, there is a realisation that life is not just black and white. Anyone can change..?

The second choice is Natalia Vodyanova’s photograph in the shoot entitled 'Dream Girl' for Vogue China. The colours are warm, the background is simple, and the blurriness adds mystery and elevation. The look on her face is a mixture of curiosity, fear of the unknown and arrogance. The way in which the black eyeliner dilutes the innocence symbolised in the picture, gives this angelic face a devilish look which is what fascinates the most.  This message is revealed so explicitly that it makes one shiver… It feels like this girl is stuck somewhere in between childhood and adolescence, where naivety is spiced up with cynicism. This is a very sensual piece of work, where fashion photography slowly transforms into fine art.

Patrick Demarchelier's nude photographs are highly recognized and are frequently used in the fashion industry. This famous picture was taken for W magazine in December 2010. Miranda Kerr is shamelessly posing on it, about 8 months pregnant. This expresses the sheer greatness of Demarchelier's work: his ability to portray a woman's body in its natural beauty. It was a very brave step for Miranda to take, but in the end it all paid back. Demarchelier’s image pictures pregnancy as a blessing from above. In this photograph, one can see a beautiful and remarkable woman, who is proud to become a mother. This piece reads elegance, charm and calmness. This woman is happy and a feeling of peacefulness resonates as you look at it. 

These are only few of his famous works. It is unbelievable how human life can be so precisely depicted in a photograph. However, if you look in depth you can maybe see something of yourself in some of his pieces. His art is not blunt. Imagination must be used to exploit the ideas that Patrick has left for your own story to develop.

Photos: Courtesy of Patrick Demarchelier

Author: Natalia Tkacheva
Editor: Adel Delis