Inez & Vinoodh
For two decades, the meticulous and audacious imagery created by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin has challenged and inspired the field of fashion photography. Working together since 1986, the Dutch partnership rose to fame in the early 1990s. Experimenting with the latest digital imaging technologies, their early work captured the imagination of art critics, who were mesmerized by the sophisticated interplay of elegance and horror in their images. As their notoriety burgeoned in the art world, the fashion community became equally captivated by early editorial work for British style magazine The Face, which added high-octane glamour to their dark and unsettling aesthetic. Collaborating with Belgian designer Véronique Leroy, they formulated a vocabulary of attenuated predatory figures in hyperreal environments, flying in the face of the prevailing ‘grunge’ movement and signaling the end of that genre of fashion photography. Exerting considerable influence in fashion and in art, van Lamsweerde and Matadin are exceptional in balancing successful careers in both.
The pair met whilst studying at the Art Academy in Amsterdam and following careers in and around fashion, began working formally together as artists in the early 1990s. Their provocative breakthrough 1993 series “Thank You Thighmaster” and “Final Fantasy” challenged preconceptions about the female form through innovative use of computer manipulations, whilst “The Forest (1995)” seamlessly conflated the features of men and women’s bodies to pose questions about gender and beauty. Starting to translate these challenging techniques into fashion imagery in 1994, van Lamsweerde and Matadin attracted enormous attention for their sensational editorial for The Face and they instantly began photographing for the most prestigious and progressive magazines.
van Lamsweerde and Matadin’s career in art is equally prolific, their work is exhibited internationally and held in public and private collections across the world. Motifs from imagery produced for commercial commissions are often carried through into their artwork and the pair regard this dialogue between commerce and art a central theme of their practice.
Biography by Penny Martin