A new show opens this weekend at the V&A museum in London celebrating the work of legendary fashion photographer, Tim Walker.
Tim Walker’s career began in the mid-90s assisting famous photographer Richard Avedon. Now recognised as a pioneer in the industry himself, Walker’s photography reaches across genres and boundaries, eclipsing the world of fashion. Known for strange, unreal imagery and his capturing of otherworldly realms, Walker is limited by only his imagination.
The new exhibition, Wonderful Things, explores the inspirations behind the photographs.
Speaking to Dazed, Curator Susanna Brown said,
“I think so much of Tim’s work is about make-believe. But, it’s not purely about beauty, it’s not purely about fashion, and that’s what makes it so special. He’s able to create stunning, spectacular pictures, but also subtly connect to the pertinent issues of our time.”
The photographs are not being shown in the typical style of an exhibition: on sterile white walls in an echoey gallery. Walker’s works will be positioned inside decorated rooms, created to further showcase the themes within the pictures. We are made to step inside the worlds of the images.
The gallery rooms look like photographer’s studios and living rooms from the 1980s. Nudes look down from the walls. In one room, portraits of Frank Ocean taking a selfie are displayed alongside photographs of David Attenborough holding a dinosaur egg.
Brown told Dazed,
“I never think of Tim as a fashion photographer. I think of him as just an incredibly creative person and an artist who weaves in fantastical narratives. Of course, he’s very knowledgable about fashion and clothes. He loves knitting, embroidery, and is very interested in the textures of things. But I have to say we didn’t spend a lot of time talking about fashion in isolation. I think for him the fashion industry and the magazines are like Renaissance art patrons that allow him to create the pictures his mind imagines and the dream worlds he wants to build in front of the camera. He’s used that metaphor before, the idea of fashion itself as a benefactor, as a patron to the artist, and I think it’s a very good metaphor.”
Walker also created works specifically for this exhibition after researching the V&A museum’s archives.
Check out some of the amazing shots below:
Tim Walker: Wonderful Things is on at the V&A from 21 September 2019 to 8 March 2020.
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