Jean-Paul Goude is behind some of the most visually arresting images of the past few decades. The photographer’s surrealist, sexually-charged style has seen him create everything from Azzedine Alaïa ads to a controversial Citroën Cx 2 commercial that was banned in several countries. He’s shot Naomi Campbell riding an elephant (and a crocodile) for Harper’s Bazaar, and Kim Kardashian balancing a glass of champagne on her bum for that magazine cover.
A new exhibition entitled So Far So Goude, which has just opened at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan, will explore Goude’s work – particularly that pertaining to the women who inspire him. “We looked back in time and we tried to determine the roots of my work,” he says in an interview with WWD. “This clearly indicates my preferences.”
Perhaps the most famous of these women who inspire Goude is his muse and former girlfriend, legendary singer and performer Grace Jones. After meeting her in the 70s, he went on to create many of her album covers, including those for Nightclubbing (1981) and Slave to the Rhythm (1985). “In 1977 or ’78, I met Grace and it was a period of decadence,” Goude said in an interview with WWD in 2009. “People were still doing lots of drugs and I had been working so hard for so long and she made me part of her lifestyle, made me go out dancing at Studio 54. She became an obsession and we did everything together.”
Another muse was French model and actress Farida Khelfa, who posed for Goude on multiple occasions, before giving up modelling to join Alaïa’s design studio. These photographs, like all of Goude’s, are bold and slightly irreverent – something to which this exhibition will attest.
Presented by Tod’s, So Far So Goude is on show at Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan, April 16-June 19. Find out more about the exhibition here