Corinne Day has long been recognized as an arbiter of raw and unconventional beauty. The photographer first worked as a model before emerging out of London youth culture to shoot a young Kate Moss for The Face, collaborate with Melanie Ward, and, later, lens stripped-down shoots for Vogue, i-D, Ray Gun, and this magazine. Day had a singular vision—one that eschewed the gloss and glamour of the ’80s for an alternative, earthier take on fashion. “I think that one thing that we can say about Corinne is that whether she was shooting some band in CBGB’s or she was shooting a model in a couture dress for Vogue, it was always a Corinne Day picture,” says London-based stylist (and previous fashion director of Interview) Karl Plewka, Day’s friend and former collaborator. Day, who passed away in 2010 from a brain tumor, is the subject of a new exhibition of previously unseen work, “May The Circle Remain Unbroken,” now on view at London’s Gimpel Fils gallery.
Organized by Day’s husband Mark Szaszy and her friend, muse, and collaborator Tara St Hill, the exhibition catalogs Day’s early work from 1987 to 1996. Many of the images were taken at her and Szaszy’s apartment on Brewer Street in Soho, London. Also on view are intimate portraits of a select group of subjects—including struggling models Rosemary Ferguson, Georgina Cooper, Tania Court, and George Clements—captured candidly in friends’ apartments in their own clothes, revealing the countercultural spirit of post-rave youth culture in the late ’80s and early ’90s. “They celebrate a moment in time that was about Corinne being inspired by these young people,” Plewka reflects. “It’s basically about four young people like she was, some of them models, some of them not. I think that the pictures are very sweet, there’s a lot of humor in them.” The exhibition offers a look at Day’s developing eye, and reveals the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the individuals, friendships, and relationships populating Corinne’s world. A monograph of the exhibition will be released later this month from Morel Books.
“MAY THE CIRCLE REMAIN UNBROKEN” IS CURRENTLY ON VIEW AT GIMPEL FILS GALLERY, 30 DAVIES STREET, LONDON.