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After entering the gallery Contributed and taking a quick look through the exhibition, my first instinct was to look for the little subtitles that we find printed in fashion magazines, informing the brands used by the model in the picture. There is no need to read the bio of the photographer to quickly realize that it’s the work from someone connected with the fashion industry: the American photography Hadley Hudson to be precises. Hadley has shot campaigns for famous brands (like H&M and Levi’s) and has published in magazines like the British Vogue. It made me wonder whether fashion photography is art or not. Why are these particular photographs not in a magazine, but in a gallery?

Is Fashion Photography Art?

After photographs have been picked out for appreciation by curators, we might take them more seriously and are willing to appreciate their finer qualities. We then understand the aesthetic principles used better and we try to guess what makes it so beautiful. There is something unique in the work of Hadley Hudson and that’s why it deserve to be in a gallery.

Fetish in Berlin
Fetish in Berlin. Photograph by Hadley Hudson

The exhibition unites photographs taken by her in different cities, including Paris, New York and Berlin. Although the photographs are clearly staged or posed, they are somehow a bit journalistic. It’s a portrait of a young lifestyle of a generation strictly connected to fashion and music. That is what has established her work as something special.

Photographing people at home, Hadley uses very natural settings for her photographs. She takes us to have a look inside messy rooms, showing the habits and attitudes of these punk youngsters. And then we are dragged to those moments when we are getting ready to go clubbing and we are still choosing our outfit; or when we come back drunk from parties. The portrayed models don’t need to be fully naked to transpire a strong sense of sexual arousal. We can feel in them a desire that anticipates sex. It’s definitely a work of erotic art.

  • Contributed “For Your Pleasure” Hadley Hudson. July 27th – September 1st 2012, Tuesday – Friday: 2-7pm, Saturday: 12-4pm. (Price Range: 1400 – 4500€)