Cover Photo: Alex Webb, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Get a closer look at Self 07, the latest instalment of Saint Laurent’s art series

Since kicking off with an exhibition from Daido Moriyama in 2018, Saint Laurent’s Self art project has thrilled and delighted fashion fans and art lovers alike.

Curated by creative director Anthony Vaccarello to express the core values of Saint Laurent, the series has seen new visuals created for the French fashion brand by the likes of Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai, artist Vanessa Beecroft and American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis.

Now comes the seventh edition, simply titled “Self 07”, which is made in collaboration with six Magnum Photos photographers. Their images, shot exclusively for Saint Laurent, were simultaneously exhibited in the cities where each artist is based: New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. The result? These different places across the world were connected by art and fashion, thanks to Saint Laurent.

Below, we take a look at each photographer that has been spotlighted by the luxury fashion house, and what inspired their contributions to Self 07.

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Harry Gruyaert

Drawing on the visual vocabulary of airports that inspired his monograph, Last Call, Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert revisited the transitional setting for his Self 07 series. The pioneer of colour photography cleverly taps onto his favourite element by capturing models in the most striking Saint Laurent pieces, including red jumpsuits and blue bodysuits, making them one with their surroundings.

Olivia Arthur

Amidst the rise of virtual experiences, Magnum Photos president Olivia Arthur explored physicality in her photo series, “So Not So”. The London-based photographer’s monochromatic shots focus on touch and movement, turning Saint Laurent-clad bodies into powerful and intriguing figures.

Alex Webb

For the project, street photographer Alex Webb headed to three vibrant neighbourhoods in Los Angeles: the Pinata District, the Flower District and the Fashion District. There, he captured models wearing Saint Laurent pieces in the brand’s signature colour, black, which offered a brilliant contrast to the colourful settings. The eye is also drawn to the fabrications, from shimmering gossamer to rich velvets.

Birdhead

Shanghai-based photography duo Birdhead, consisting of artists Ju Weiyu and Song Tao, captured Saint Laurent in their signature photographic matrix format. The two combined several analog photographs together, juxtaposing cityscapes and model’s bodies with natural forms like clouds, trees and flowers to create a conceptual artwork. As a nod to the “high degree of freedom” afforded by Saint Laurent’s Self 07 project, the guest Magnum Photos photographers also worked with inverted negative photography for the first time.

Daesung Lee

With a newfound appreciation for nature amidst the pandemic, Seoul-based photographer Daesung Lee set his images among vast landscapes around South Korea. From them, models in Saint Laurent can sometimes be spotted, bringing to life the strange and surreal visions that coloured the guest Magnum Photos photographer’s inner world during lockdown.

Takashi Homma

Japanese photographer Takashi Homma looked to the relationship between the city of Tokyo and its fashionable, Saint Laurent-clad inhabitants for his monochromatic images. These were captured using the camera obscura technique, for which the guest Magnum Photos photographer turned rooms around the city into pinhole cameras after blacking out their windows.

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