God of Illustration
Goodhall, Jasper (2005) God of Illustration Viaux Gallery for Fashion Photography, Lange Reihe, Hamburg.
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Widely known for his commercial work for clients such as Nike, Adidas, Gucci, BMW, The Face, Arena and Elle, Goodall’s research engages with definitions of desire explored through a series of classic themes, re-inventing and re-contextualising the latter for reception in an image- and sexually-oriented society; an approach in many ways analogous to that of the fashion designer. Goodall’s working methods are both photographically and figuratively based, drawing on varied sources including the internet, magazines, music and his own photographs, all of which are cut up, dismantled and digitally reassembled. The Viaux Gallery for Fashion Photography, Hamburg, invited illustrator Goodall to mount an exhibition of recent work in autumn 2005. This was the first time that a non-photographic artist had shown at a gallery exclusively dedicated to internationally recognised fashion photographers (e.g., Klaus Thymann, Rasmus Mogensen and Luis Sanchis), and recognition of the growing status of illustration within the fashion industry. The title of the exhibition, 'Jasper Goodall – God of Illustration', conceived by the gallery owner, was a hyperbolic acknowledgement of the celebrity status generally accorded to fashion photographers, applied to an illustrator. The exhibition reflected the increasing recognition by art directors that illustration is a distinctive fashionable medium rather than a low-cost alternative to photography. To produce an innovative show in a fashion photography gallery, Goodall reflected upon his experience of contributing to the Versus exhibition in Tokyo (Parco Gallery, Shibuya, 2002) in which he was paired with the Japanese photographer, Mika Ninagawa: each artist reworked two pieces by their counterpart. He drew on this experience and his knowledge and understanding of illustration for fashion editorials to put together a fashion exhibition represented through the lens and conceptual frame of illustration. The show was reviewed in Die Abentblatt newspaper (16 August 2005), attracting much media attention www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/08/16/471006.html.
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