THE BEST PHOTO EXHIBITIONS OF 2023

An Australian photographer best known for his Victoria Secret’s models portraits, a German who was the favourite photograph of the iconic ’90s supermodels, and the son of Russian immigrants who captured Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the most beautiful kiss: Discover the best photo exhibitions of 2023.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER WHO LAUNCHED KENDALL JENNER’S MODEL CAREER

Camera Work Gallery in Berlin presents an exhibition of 40 works by Russell James, one of the world’s leading fashion and portrait photographers, who is best known for his Victoria Secret’s models portraits. He has played an important role in shaping many top model careers. In 2018, for example, Kendall Jenner’s most intimate photo shoot was created in cooperation with the Australian artist at her request. At that time, they had already been working together for six years. In fact, none other than Kris Jenner had contacted Russell James in 20212 to launch the model career of her 17-year-old daughter. The rest is history.

Russell James (61) combines the classic aesthetics of late 20th century fashion photography with contemporary elements. As a result, he is considered by the art market as a photographer who continues to develop the work of artists such as Herb Ritts and Patrick Demarchelier. His photographic work also reflects the culture of his native Australia. Special landscapes, impressive sceneries, and spectacular lighting conditions contribute to the artist’s individual style.

“I was inspired by Irving Penn,” he said in a video interview with Charlie Rose in 2014. “There’s such a deliberateness in his photography, an artwork in the balance of the photograph.” For Russell James, nude photography is an empty canvas, an art that is based on ancient culture (cave art, statues, paintings etc.). “There are so many different ways you can shoot nude photography. You can take it from the most vulgar and offensive to the most beautiful, delicate and innocent,” he explains. His book Angels, which was published in 2014, reflects his appreciation for the female body and his credo: “In a lot of nudes that I shoot, there’s no nudity. And that is the art.”

Russell James Exhibition at Camera Work Gallery, Berlin, from 29 April to 17 June 2023.

Photos: © Russell James / Courtesy of Camera Work Gallery

THE SUPERMODELS AND THE MOST ICONIC FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS

The IPFO Haus der Fotografie in Olten, Switzerland, presents Beyond Fashion, a unique exhibition showcasing pictures of some of the most iconic contemporary fashion photographers like Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindbergh, Miles Aldridge und Ellen von Unwerth.

The exhibition is divided in four categories: Fantasy, Allure, Surrealism and Realism. It focuses on the question: What is so special about fashion photography? How did it change over the decades? At the beginning, fashion photography was mainly commercial photography. But what is it today? How did the digital era and social media change it?

Estelle Lefébure, Karen Alexander, Rachel Williams, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Christy Turlington on the beach in Santa Monica for American Vogue in 1988; © Peter Lindbergh

Beyond Fashion at the IPFO in Olten, Switzerland, from 11 March to 4 June 2023. Don’t miss the International Photo Festival Olten which will take place from 23 to 27 August 2023.

FIDEL CASTRO, CHE GUEVARA AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF A KISS

The exhibition Elliott Erwitt. A Retrospective is a tribute to one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, who has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1954.

The exhibition in Paris presents Erwitt’s work through a collection of 215 black and white and color photographs. The American photographer, who pas born in Paris in 1928 and whose parents had immigrated from Russia, is a painter of intimacy, a photojournalist, a commercial photographer, a film director, and a portrait photographer of famous personalities such as Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Jackie Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev …

Elliott Erwin at the Musée Maillol in Paris from 23 March to 15 August 2023.

THE JEWISH IMMIGRANT WHO BECAME A MAGNUM AND VOGUE PHOTOGRAPHER

Jeu de Paume, an art exhibition center in Paris, presents the largest exhibition devoted to photographer Frank Horvat (1928-2020) since his death. Through 170 prints and 70 archival documents, Frank Horvat. Paris, the World and Fashion focuses on the first fifteen years of a remarkable career.

Frank Horvath Exhibition at Jeu de Paume in Paris, from 16 June to 17 September 2023.

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(This article will be updated every month with new photo exhibitions.)

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