Miles Aldridge is famous for his decadent colour-saturated fashion photography in magazines such as Vogue and Numéro, but the sensual sketches that inform his photographic work are scarcely known. Pictures for Photographs addresses this discrepancy by exploring the delectable relationship between the sketches and photographs. The book opens with the manic drawings with which Aldridge fills sketchbooks in preparation for fashion shoots. Scrawled in pen or pencil, these black-and-white sketches generate ideas for potential photographs and map out series of pictures like a film storyboard. Sometimes dotted with raunchy hand-written notes such as “green/yellow bra” or “painting nipples with lipstick”, Aldridge’s sketches are crucial to his photographs. The second half of the book presents Aldridge’s photographs, which are often as much about sex as they are about fashion. Here we experience the opulent onslaught for which Aldridge is known: a blonde woman eating lobster and caviar with an exposed breast, an erotic couple in a darkened limousine, a school girl surrounded by her teddy bears, and even crying Madonnas. By setting Aldridge’s monotone drawings and the amplified, Pop-inspired colour of the photographs against each other, Pictures for Photographs offers an as yet unseen insight into Aldridge’s imagination and working processes.
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