As of 2018 The Ravestijn Gallery is excited to be representing the photographers duo Inez & Vinoodh, known for their fearless and adventurous photography that fluidly moves between art and high fashion. The Dutch, New York-based, artists Inez van Lamsweerde (1963) and Vinoodh Matadin (1961) are partners and collaborators whose practice moves between genres and media, pop-culture, fashion and art.
The duo has been exploring and pushing the boundaries of art and fashion photography for over three decades. In the early 1990's they were at the forefront of using new developments in digital technology for photography, paired with a bold aesthetic sensibility, it resulted in a signature style that was to become a world-famous brand: Inez & Vinoodh.
In their work the artists do not seem to make an a priori distinction between fashion or art, instead all of their work is part of their overarching creative vision: images (or videos) that are enticing in their aesthetic perfection, that seduce the viewer, only to draw her or him into a world where a familiar narrative might just be turned upside down, becoming provocative. In an interview Inez & Vinoodh emphasise the powers at play in their images: “for us there’s always this sense of duality, there’s always a tension between the beautiful and the grotesque, the spiritual and the mundane, high fashion and low fashion, male and female.”
While always highly polished, their images critique social norms regarding gender and sexuality, undermining these conventions as well as the prejudices they bring about.
Another aspect of Inez & Vinoodh’s power and appeal stems from the fact that every image is born out of a collaboration between two people, which emphasises the mystery of genesis behind each image. In this process, the image always comes first, only upon its creation is it decided to which realm it might belong: art, fashion, a particular editorial or an altogether different context.
Often their images are printed larger than life, enhancing their other-worldliness, such as the photographs of pop-icon Lady Gaga. The artists’ intervention of collage technique abstracts the famous star into an almost unrecognisable, ethereal muse.
This blending of techniques and their mastery of digital manipulation has had such a following in photography, becoming ubiquitous up to the point one would almost forget just how daring and cutting-edge the duo’s explorations of photography’s boundaries have been since their earliest work.
The seemingly effortless movements of the artists between editorials, videos, exhibitions, experimental montage and assemblage, are a rare thing indeed, and form the foundation for the vigorousness of the firmly established brand Inez & Vindoodh.
Inez & Vinoodh have created ground-breaking editorials for such publications as American, French, Japanese and Italian Vogue, V Magazine, Visionaire, The New York Times Magazine, The Gentlewoman, and W Magazine, as well as campaigns for Balenciaga, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Isabel Marant, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Valentino and Yohji Yamamoto.
Their work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally including the Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Deichtor hallen in Hamburg and the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. A retrospective show titled PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING 1985-2010 began its international tour at FOAM, Amsterdam in the summer of 2010 and has since travelled to the Pavillion Bienal in Sao Paulo, the Dallas Contemporary in Dallas and Fotografiska in Stockholm. This year their work will be on view at the Palazzo Reale in Milan curated by Francesco Bonami and at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.