Cathleen Naundorf: A Fashion Feast for the Eyes
Fashion photographer Cathleen Naundorf makes an elegant New York debut in her eponymous exhibition at the Edwynn Houk gallery. The large-format polaroids depict graceful models in sumptuous and breathtaking frocks, and stem entirely from Naundorf's prolific career in fashion. In the series 'Un rêve de mode', Naundorf spent seven years (2005-2011) documenting the world's most prestigious couture houses, where she gained carte blanche access shooting archival gowns from the vaults of Valentino, Dior, Chanel, Lacroix, Elie Saab and Phillip Treacy. Staging the models against palatial and lush backdrops, Naundorf set the mood for extravagant cinematic experiences. Executing her singular processing technique coupled with a bold use of saturation, Naundorf produces exquisite and painterly images. The photographs are absolutely magical, brimming with opulence and magnificence. In the more recent series 'L'Arche de Noé' (2015), Naundorf pairs dainty models alongside animals in a surrealist manner. In one portrait, a ravishing model wearing a crimson Dior ballgown engages with a young fawn, while in another scene, a model in a devastatingly gorgeous Elie Saab gown poses serenely with an exotic parrot. A true vision of sartorial splendor solely conceived and crafted by Naundorf.
The German-born Naundorf possesses a unique and rich background - originally having studied painting and photography - her passion for fashion was inspired by her mentor, the legendary Horst P. Horst. While living and working in France, she embarked on a professional relationship with Condé Nast, shooting backstage at Paris fashion shows during the late '90s. Prior to her direction in fashion photography, she traveled the globe extensively as a photojournalist capturing indigenous tribes including the Yanomami in Amazonia, and the Yakutia in Siberia for reportage assignments. Naundorf is an active member of Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. This is Cathleen Naundorf’s first New York show with the Edwynn Houk gallery and will be on view through February 27th.