Miralda and Elle
22.06.2023 – 01.10.2023
Curator: Valentín Roma
Opening: Wednesday 21 June, 7 pm
This exhibition presents the photographic work done by Miralda (Terrassa, 1942) for ELLE magazine between 1964 and 1971 while he was living in Paris. The artist produced these photographs, which have remained virtually hidden from the public eye until recent times, at the same time as working on his performances and objects.
One of Miralda’s main contributions to fashion photography was to take it out of the studio and onto the street, to use uncoded spaces, which demanded of his models and teams immediate decisions, with no possibility of constructing a set using props, as was the convention of the day. Another novel aspect is the artist’s interpretation surrounding haute couture: rather than reinforcing the exclusivity of the designs typical of the leading French fashion houses, he linked them with unphotogenic elements of the Parisian landscape on streets, in run-of-the-mill markets and areas on the industrial outskirts.
Twiggy, the iconic and the first supermodel, features in the most notable report displayed in this exhibition. With it are groups of slides that attest to the selection process surrounding the choice of a single photograph that would then be published in the magazine.
It is worth remembering that the 1960s were full of the hustle and bustle of urban tribes, music, film, live theatre and television, while the fashion phenomenon swung between high and low-brow culture. In this regard, mention must be made of two seminal books, both from 1964: Susan Sontag’s Notes on ‘Camp’ and Umberto Eco’s Apocalyptic and Integrated.
Miralda’s photography was in keeping with this exhilarating climate on the streets, and it is surprising to see a young man just twenty years old sharing the credits in ELLE with legendary photographers such as Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton and David Bailey, one of the leading figures credited with inventing Swinging London.