ARTICLE PATRIK SANDBERG AND STEPHEN GALLOWAY
PHOTOGRAPHY INEZ & VINOODH
ICONIC IMAGE-MAKING COUPLE
When it comes to describing the synergistic magic of Inez and Vinoodh’s process behind the camera, the photographers prefer to turn to their close friend and collaborator, famed dancer Stephen Galloway. The former principal dancer for the Ballet Frankfurt—and movement director for none other than Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones for 15 years—is one of the few individuals who often gets to insert himself into the duo’s creative process. Here, in his own words, he tells of the rhythm and rewards of working with two of fashion’s most original artists. PATRIK SANDBERG
Inez and Vinoodh would often come and see my performances in Frankfurt, with the William Forsythe Company, because we used to have a residence in Amsterdam and one in Paris—we were basically traveling all over and our path would cross theirs. I didn’t know them, but they came to see the company. I went to an exhibition of theirs in Holland. This was at the very beginning of their careers—they hadn’t even shot that infamous Yohji campaign yet. We would see each other as often as we could, and we always talked about doing something together because I knew they love movement and theater. But for different reasons the opportunity would never come about. Then one day Inez called me when they were doing their first campaign with Calvin Klein. I was working with the Ballet and living in Germany, and when they would have an idea we would collar on a photo shoot or something. This has now gone on for a long time. I have known them for about 20 years, but we have been kicking ass together for easily about 10.
For me, one of the greatest gifts I’ve been able to receive is that I have had the pleasure of working with William Forsythe, Mick Jagger, and Inez and Vinoodh. I really do see it like that.
I always think of them as artists first, and I really respond to them, being an artist myself. I’m just amazed by their work and their curiosity, and all of the questions they pose as photographers. I always get excited working with Inez and Vinoodh because it’s like a very bizarre pas de trois. I’m trying to communicate between both of them and the model and myself. I almost feel like a live translator! I have to figure out what Vinoodh is looking at, what Inez is seeing, and what they’re both thinking. And we never really talk about our collaboration much before we’re there. It’s all incredibly organic. I can’t liken working with them to anything else, except a masterful pas de trois. It’s about the rhythm, this furious kind of breath and excitement, and it’s never boring. It’s a crazy dance macabre situation, also because they’re both so smart about everything. Every photograph we take is often more than what it seems to be, because they make such incredible references to everything from dance to fine art to commercial art, and even to film.
One example is when we did their last Gucci campaign. It was 16 images of 16 different models, and each model was wearing the same thing in each image. We would reposition them in the same outfit, and it ran over a period of six months. When they told me, I thought, How are we ever going to pull this off? Won’t people be tired of looking at all these girls in the same outfit in every ad? But when they completed it, it was genius. That is the greatest feeling. STEPHEN GALLOWAY
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