The Downtown Artist Takes Inspiration from Victorian Poetry for a Sultry New Series
White pigeons flutter above the nude silhouettes of model Arizona Muse and French actress Rebecca Dayan in these romantic new photographs from New York-based Maxwell Snow. The monochrome images feature in a solo exhibition and a publication from the Parisian concept store Colette, both named The Lady of Shalott in honor of the 19th century poetic themes that subconsciously infuse them. “I unknowingly referenced a lot of images of artists’ interpretations of the Lady of Shalott before I even came across Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem,” explains Snow, who has previously shown at Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts in New York and Galerie Serieuze Zaken in Amsterdam. “The idea in creating these images was to make people connect to the past—to more mythological or spiritual times.” The artist comes from a storied background, as the brother of the greatly missed art world darling Dash Snow and a member of the famed de Menil clan. He recalls meeting Vogue favorite Muse after she purchased one of his pieces at auction and came back wanting more: “I said, 'How about you pose for one and I’ll give you one for free?'” Dayan, who recently appeared in Jesse & Celeste Forever and From Paris with Love and met Snow through a mutual friend, hadn’t expected her aviary accessories. “I was naked in a tent with birds flying in every direction,” she laughs of the shoot, for which Snow used eating pigeons rescued from a Manhattan slaughterhouse. “We freed them at the end,” she says. “It was such a beautiful moment!”
The Lady of Shalott is on view at Colette, Paris, until February 2.
The Model Steps Forward as the Roguish Heroine of a Surreal Desert Tableau
Sauntering down a desolate highway in opaline pasties and pink latex knickers, an otherworldly Erin Wasson enacts an unexpected domesticity in this short by filmmaker Columbine Goldsmith, shot in California’s Mojave Desert. Wearing spring/summer 2013 looks from the likes of Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Alexander Wang, Wasson walks the line between the real and the extraterrestrial as an apathetic housewife tending to a fantastical plot of American soil. “The landscape doesn’t reveal time or place, so I wanted to imbue the protagonist with a more defined character: an old-fashioned housewife in 60s and 70s silhouettes who also has something discernibly futuristic about her,” says Goldsmith. Referencing the bleak landscapes of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura and the humanoid alien of The Man Who Fell To Earth, the film’s title comes from a serendipitous moment: during the shoot at Joshua Tree National Park, Goldsmith noticed a plaque on a nearby boulder that read “La Intrusa Piedra” (The Intruder Rock), an unexpected and welcome nod to Wasson’s outsider status in the film. Below, the Texan supermodel, veteran of the pages of Vogue and the runways of Balenciaga, Gucci and Lagerfeld, and muse to the likes of Ellen von Unwerth, steps out of the sand to reveal her chill-out preferences.
Thomas Giddings Gets An Intimate Look at the Far East's Top Male Models
Emerging faces Rui Wang, Liu Chang, Hao Yun Xiang and the firmly established Zhao Lei are profiled in Thomas Giddings’ elegant short filmed during the spring/summer 2013 menswear shows in Paris. Inspired by an enigmatic scene in Paul Schrader’s 1980 film American Gigolo, Giddings filmed discreetly in order to capture both the models’ true personalities and the minutiae of the everyday. “I wanted to capture the downtime and follow each of the boys in a subtle way,” says the photographer, “telling the story through their characters, rather than through the clothes.” Giddings began his career shooting behind the scenes at fashion shows for POP and i-D, and has since gone on to photograph for British Vogue, Twin and Russian Interview, as well as hold numerous exhibitions of his work. Demonstrating the growing influence of China on the fashion industry, the four boys have risen over the past few seasons to work with some of today's most influential designers, including Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Kris Van Assche for Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. Giddings' Paris short features intimate access at high profile runway shows for Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dries Van Noten and Mugler, offering unique insight into the usual high-octane sheen. “I work differently to a lot of other photographers backstage,” explains Giddings. “It's about communicating existing moments rather than stepping in to direct.”