Inez & Vinoodh's Quarter Century

The Photographic Duo Celebrate 25 Years of Work With "Pretty Much Everything"

Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have been the reigning daredevils of fashion photography since the mid 1990s. Back then, the Dutch duo were among the first to truly exploit digital manipulation, distorting body parts and blurring the gender of models while Photoshop was still in Neanderthal phase. Such experimentation quickly established them as a team equally at home—and equally successful—in the worlds of art and fashion photography. As of 2010 the pair have shot campaigns for YSL, Chanel, Balmain, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chloé, made regular appearances in Vogue, W and The New York Times, and mounted exhibitions at Matthew Marks, New York, and White Cube, London, among others. Their latest show, Pretty Much Everything – Photographs 1985-2010, brings 300 of the twosome’s images to Amsterdam’s Foam_Fotografiemuseum. Here, their most iconic shots––such as The Forest: Marcel, Rob, Andy (1995), and Me Kissing Vinoodh (Passionately) (1999)––are displayed next to the relatively unknown. Inez and Vinoodh have always been ones to toy with reality in order to question what’s real and what’s fake, and this exhibition reveals the duo’s powerful ability to imbue their images with serious subtext. This comes to the fore in images such as Thank You Thighmaster, Britt (1993) (an uncompromising Barbie-meets-human fusion), as well as in Well, Basically Basuco is Coke Mixed With Kerosene… The Face (1994)—which is so rife with sexual innuendo that... well, where to begin? It’s never just a pretty picture with these photographers: the gorgeous is paired with the grotesque; the provocative with the proper. There’s no apparent rhyme or reason, leaving viewers to interpret what they will. In fact, the show is as unpredictable as the photographers themselves.

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