Studio Willy Rizzo in Paris is exhibiting 50 original black and white and color photographs by the Franco-Italian photographer.
Every “fashion” photographer is the great witness of an era. They have a double vision: that of a creator and that of a photographer. With originality, rigor, creative development, the fashion photographer serves clothing and its maker. Willy Rizzo was a master chameleon of this difficult art of showing, respecting and protecting style. “I was in love with my work, and a photographer needs to experiment with different techniques,” he said. “For me, fashion is the most difficult discipline. It requires an endless amount of research and invention. With only a white or gray background as a set, and a Nikon or a Hasselblad, in the daylight or with electronic flash… taking a photo on the spot is one thing, but a fashion photo, that’s a blank sheet. You need magic to turn an elegant but material model into the stuff of dreams. There are many ways to photograph fashion. With anything, something important is necessary. It’s necessary to create a story, a dynamic, a look. It’s a whole other field.”
By capturing these moments of fashion, the photographer knew how to freeze stylistic evolutions in time and make one dream, laugh, share, tell a story… An image creator having a conversation with a material creator: that is exactly what is illustrated in a fashion photograph. All that to deliver a unique object that reflects the symbolism of times and trends. Willy Rizzo knew how to capture a detail, a look, a color… That is what we discover in these fifty pictures, color and black and white photographs shown in his Studio, on the rue de Verneuil in Paris, some mythic, some unknown. His collaborations with the biggest fashion magazines are highlighted during this exhibition. “Willy Rizzo had a complimentary style to himself. He had fiery, explosive way of photographing,” explains Edmonde Charles Roux from the Académie Goncourt, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris from 1954 to 1966. “I see him on the same level as Avedon and Irving Penn. (…) Concerning his fashion photographs, I admire his lighting, his framing, but also his process of preparation at the developmental level. All this unique talent creates photos that are inimitable and that possess a special charm, a gentleness. An undefinable style which was always renewed.”
Willy Rizzo, la mode pure
From May 18 through July 28, 2018
Studio Willy Rizzo
12 rue de Verneuil