Peter Lindbergh had the habit of exhibiting his art in black and white, as a distinctive signature. On September 3rd, 2019 the white was missing. Only black darkened the news of his death further, leaving the fashion family bereaved by his death. IFA Paris had to pay him a last tribute.
Born in Poland in the middle of the Second World War, having grown up on the outskirts of Rhine, this world citizen was first trained at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts before joining the German magazine “Stern”. He made his mark as a photographer in advertising alongside Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin before travelling the world in search of raw beauty.
His black and white shots push the limits of creativity and dust off the fashion photo from all artifice and touch-ups. A pioneer of style, he immortalizes through his lens, a contemporary fashion revealed from a timeless angle. According to Lindbergh, aesthetics consists in placing the individual at the centre of the work, projecting himself into the soul of his subject to reflect his true personality. Through numerous black and white portraits, he revisits the standards of beauty by sublimating the woman to the natural.
A fervent follower of the minimalist trend “less is more”, he creates his work by considering that “the responsibility of photographers is to free women from the dictatorship of youth and perfection”.
With these convictions in mind, in 1988 he created his iconic photo: the one featuring a few top models still unknown to the general public (Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford or Claudia Schiffer), dressed in simple white shirts on a Californian beach. This cliché marked the advent of the starification of models in the 90s and the consecration of Lindbergh’s genius. Many partnerships with the magazines Vogue, Vanity Fair or Harper Bazaar then followed, and the big brands fought to sign their campaigns (Chanel, Armani, Prada). A success that has never been denied for 4 decades.
At a time when the dictum of beauty canons was raging (dangerously), when Photoshop standardized the art of fashion photography, we can only salute this extraordinary journey, whose counter-current creativity has made all the glory.