Guy Bourdin, Brazilian Heat

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Published August 14, 2009

Guy Bourdin and Brazil are such a natural union that the appearance of the Iguatemi Photo Series’ show, “A Message for you, by Guy Bourdin” at MuBE (Brazilian Museum of Sculpture, São Paulo), has the impact of work returning to its spiritual home. The luscious colors, rich contrast, and volcanic sexuality in the 177 Bourdin iconic and previously unseen editorial images and videos from the 1950s through 1990s are a fine match for the lusty intensity of Brazil and the high-intensity curatorial focus of the Iguatemi Photo Series. Founded by the Iguatemi luxury boutique firm, Bourddain is among sizzling company: Iguatemi Photo Series’s past shows include “Beauties andDisasters” by David LaChapelle and John Rankin’s “Chop off their heads.” While the sado-masochistic fatalism in Bourdin’s work is a dark turn from the cliché of the joyful and vibrant Brazilian sensibility, the show’s curators emphasize that Bourdin’s work typifies “fantasy, luxury, glamour, pleasure, violence, danger and thrills”—all compatible with a culture that generates and reveres carnival. If only there were a way to resurrect Bourdin, so he could add Gisele Bündchen, the embodiment of a Bourdin girl, to his roster of fierce beauties. (LEFT: BOURDIN’S 70s ADS FOR CHARLES JOURDAN)


“A Message for you, by Guy Bourdin” is on view through August 31. MuBE is located at 218 Jardim Europa, São Paulo.