NEW YORK — Despite the scandal over her alleged drug use (or perhaps because of it), Kate Moss’ glamorous visage seems to be plastered across anything that doesn’t move these days. The latest display is a series of photographs of the ethereal beauty taken by Chuck Close, part of the exhibit “Inventive Fashion Photographs,” which opens at Danziger Projects on Jan. 25.
Gallery owner James Danziger insists the decision to include Close’s shots, taken in 2003 for W magazine, was made long before British law enforcement started going after her. And he’s not trying to bank on them, either. “First, you understand that these things blow over,” he says, sitting in his office filled with books and paintings by newcomer Ryan McGinley. “Second, it had nothing to do with the validity and the concept of the show, which was about photography, not about Kate Moss. I think it’s actually just not going to be a factor.”
Indeed, Close’s austere daguerreotypes of the supermodel are only one third of the overall exhibit, which runs through March 4 with prices ranging from $3,500 to $7,500. Danziger also has culled Annie Leibovitz’s “Alice in Wonderland” series for Vogue and Vik Muniz’s photos of dresses made of wire, which appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
Leibovitz’s photos caught Danziger’s eye initially and spawned the idea for the collaboration. “I’d been thinking about doing something with Annie’s ‘Alice’ pictures, maybe a book,” Danziger says of the 2003 series, which stars Natalia Vodianova as Alice and designers such as John Galliano, who plays the Queen of Hearts. Instead, he combined them with the Moss photos and Muniz’s 2004 wire renditions of spring 2005 looks from Rochas, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Dior.
What separates these shots from the average fashion editorial is each artist’s inflection of his or her own take on the topics, Danziger says. “It was really creative fine art photographers who each brought their own idiosyncratic and individual style to a fashion assignment … It’s the exception rather than the rule for a reason, and it’s nice to have the opportunity to appreciate those things. Sometimes a good fashion picture that’s doing its job is not necessarily a picture that’s going to succeed in gallery terms, and that’s OK.”