Inez van Lamsweerde (1963)
To destroy the Western ideal of beauty from within - this is how Inez van Lamsweerde might describe her mission. Based in New York, she and her partner, Vinoodh Matadin, work for fashion houses like Balenciaga, Luis Vuitton and Miu Miu, as well as magazines like Harpers' Bazaar and Vogue. But she also produces independent work inspired by the dark side of the glittering world of fashion. By enlarging all the fashion world's clichés to the extreme, and processing photographs to extremes on the computer, she raises pertinent questions. What is beauty, and who decides what it is?
Van Lamsweerde and Matadin investigate how things take on new meanings in different contexts. The duo toys with expectations, often by combining extremes: beauty and perversion, elegance and savagery, reality and absurdity. 'When I'm shooting a model, I want to see something of myself reflected in the shot. There's always something that makes you realise: I wish that were me. That's really the principle behind fashion photography: depicting someone the way someone else wants to be.'* Van Lamsweerde frequently works in series defined by a single central aspect, such as denial of death in Thank You Thighmaster or the realisation that love is temporary, as in Me Kissing Vinoodh Passionately.
* A. Ribbens, ‘Mooi is iets anders dan oppervlakkig’, NRC Handelsblad, 03.12.1999