I love photography and vivid visuals ( be it in colour or black & white ), so it’s always interesting to see new work and to be surprised. Hamiltons gallery, my favorite gallery representing many well-known photographers like Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Horst P. Horst, Annie Leibovitz and Herb Ritts, hosted a first London exhibition by a photographer Cathleen Naundorf in March of this year and when I received the invitation to the preview, the invitation itself, one of Cathleen’s photographs, blew me away with its delicate, yet strong beauty.
I couldn’t make the actual opening ( still kicking myself for the missed opportunity to meet Cathleen in person ) but I did go to have a look at her huge and poetic photographs-there is a delicacy about her pictures ( even though they were exhibited in a fairly large size ) but they make such a strong visual impact, that you just stop and observe each one of them for what seems like ages, and time just flies by seamlessly, as you feel entranced by the beauty of her Polaroid images.
Cathleen, who was mentored by Horst P. Horst, just had her book published by Prestel, called ‘Haute Couture the polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf’ and it is such a visual treat that I have spent half an hour after receiving the book sitting in the comfort of my armchair looking at each page with a mixture of childish enthusiasm and grown-up concentration. The photographer manages seamlessly to blend fashion and photography, so much so, that renowned fashion houses of Dior,CHANEL, Valentino, Armani, Lacroix and Gaultier opened their Haute Couture archives just for her.
Cathleen has an innate style that make her photographs a work of art, even when you are looking at them in the book format. When taking pictures, she combines the large effect camera by Deardorff or Plaubel with Polaroid film material and it creates a magical vision that has many layers the more you look at each image. Cathleen’s name is already well-known among the serious collectors but if you can’t afford her work just yet, the book will give you a perfect opportunity to muse and be inspired by the beauty that shines from each page of the book.