The Selects Gallery Interview with Harper’s Bazaar
Recognizing editorial photography as true works of art, Harper’s BAZAAR, YSL Beauté Global Beauty Director Tom Pecheux, and photographer Kenneth Willardt collaborated with The Selects Gallery founder and Picto NY Partner Marie Audier D’Alessandris to breathe second life into the “That’s Rich” shoot from our September Issue with framed, limited-edition signed prints for sale. ShopBAZAAR talks to D’Alessandris about the pieces and how art can enhance your space and life.
DESCRIBE THE BEGINNINGS OF THE SELECTS GALLERY.
Throughout my career, I have had the chance to work for some of the most prestigious beauty and fashion brands, and have partnered with the best photographers of their generation. The idea behind The Selects Gallery started 15 years ago: as I was on set for advertising shoots I realized the amount of work, talent, and money that goes into a fashion or beauty picture. It is a very creative and thoughtful process that brings together the best talents, from scouting the right location, to stylist, makeup artist, hairdresser, creative team, model, and obviously to the photographer.
So much effort for such short-lived results! I always thought that it was such a waste that these beautiful images will be seen for such a limited amount of time, particularly for editorial pictures which are usually published for a month. I decided I wanted to give these images a second life and this is how The Selects Gallery was born. We scout the best images in the archives of renowned fashion and beauty photographers, and offer them in large format, museum quality, and limited-edition.
HOW IS FASHION AND BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY ART?
This sentence by Karl Lagerfeld, “Fashion photographers are the new painters,” sums it all. Art is about interpreting reality. Similarly to impressionist, pointillist, or cubist movement in painting, fashion photography is about a surreal vision of reality, magnified almost to an extreme.
Fashion photography is still marginalized, but it is changing. Proof is the growing interest in fashion exhibitions in the last 10 to 15 years—with record breaking attendance at the Met Museum for Fashion Institute exhibitions, such as Alexander McQueen in 2011, last summer’s Manus x Machina, Paris exhibition dedicated to Christian Dior house at Arts Decoratifs, or “Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011,” that opened at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
I am convinced that we will all be nostalgic for the incredible shoots that used to take place when magazines were at their peak, with large budgets for stories shot by extravagant fashion editors in partnership with visionary photographers such as, Polly Mellen, Avedon, and Carine Roitfeld.
WHAT MAKES THE COLLABORATION WITH TOM PECHEUX, ERIN FLAHERTY, KENNETH WILLARDT, AND YOURSELF SO SPECIAL?
I have been lucky enough to work with some of my favorite people on this collaboration. We all bring different talents and viewpoints who together created such a unique set of images that are visible in the magazine’s September Issue, on ShopBAZAAR.com, as well as at the YSL Beauté Hotel-Soho in NY during Fashion Week from September 7th to the 9th, with a special event hosted by Harper’s BAZAAR.
Harper’s BAZAAR brings a mix of elegance and daring attitude. Erin Flaherty, the Executive Editorial Beauty Director, is a very modern editor, inclusive, curious. She has a unique capacity to identify talent and pull the most out of them.
YSL as a brand has a strong link to art and photography. It always had a very modern vision of the woman, bold, empowered, untypical. Tom Pecheux brings his mastery of colors and visionary eye on makeup.
Kenneth Willardt is most widely known for the timeless elegance of his beauty images, their sharpness and finely structured composition. By offering these images in limited-edition with the highest standard of quality in printing and mounting, we give the opportunity to a larger public to own a piece of that exclusive collaboration and unique creativity.
HOW CAN ART ENHANCE YOUR SPACE AND INSPIRE YOUR LIFESTYLE?
Being surrounded by beauty brings serenity, reflection, and comfort. We should always create more space for beauty in our lives. My home is surrounded by contemporary art: paintings, street art, and lots of photography, many large ones. Large format photography has this special capacity to create impact. It touches and makes us stop in our busy lives. It becomes the focal point in any room and makes it unique. I always choose for the gallery—and for myself—images that bring thoughts and questions, that let the mind wander. I have been moving a lot in my life, from France to Colombia and NY, in big and small homes, and my art always found its place. It always brought me peace.
Art is meant to make us think, bring another perspective to our life and our time. Andy Warhol was exploring the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising. It does not seem that far from the work of a fashion photographer. I also believe that accessible art has an important role in our society. By accessible, I mean art that can be understood and, to a certain extent, acquired by a wider public. Fashion photography was always meant to be published in a magazine, hence seen by the general public. Our mission at The Selects Gallery is to make sure this work of art does not get lost and continues to be seen and available for a wider audience.
We are just at the beginning, we only launched six months ago! I want to thank Harper’s Bazaar for providing the gallery such high visibility for our young company.