Traditional fashion photography is digging new realms as Nick Knight tears up the boundaries utilizing digital manipulation, unconventional models, and live broadcasting photo shoots to expose the liveliness of human society. He does not confine himself to rules and looks to the whole processing of creating an image in communicating a simple message of life and humanity.
Daelim Museum is presenting Nick Knight's first solo exhibition in Korea, giving a broad overview of the artist’s oeuvre. “Nick Knight: Image” is composed of 110 works catagorized into 6 sub-sections:Skinheads, Portraits, Designer Monographs, Paintings & Politics, Still Life & Kate, and finally Fashion Film. The chronological layout encompasses the never-before exhibited Skinheads series taken in the 70’s, all the way to Knight’s future vision of “Fashion Film.”
The show beings with Knight’s “rite of passage” called Skinheads. The black and white series portrays the middle class English subculture, one that Knight was a part of “for the girls, for the music and the clothes.” Although he left the group recognizing its growing fascist approach, the artist views his time as learning about himself; to reject the norms and always go for the extremes. Such tendency eventually started serving as the foundation for all Knight’s proceeding works. His collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto (shown in Designer Monographs), for example, expresses the frustration that the artist experienced in mainstream fashion, while accentuating dignified forms of female power in relation to inner beauty—“A woman doesn’t need to show their body in order to be beautiful” is a view shared by both the designer and the photographer. The exhibition also speaks of racial injustice within civilized countries in an equally bold fashion, while magical aesthetics are maintained by the ingenuity of the artist.
Knight mentioned during the press even in Seoul that “When you take pictures of humans, you are not dealing with their outside … Instead, you are dealing with what they have in their inner sides. It’s about emotional connections.” It is through such emotional connections that this exhibition reminds us the level of spirituality we deserve and ways for us to be who we truly wish to be.