Sophie Delaporte, b. 1971, is a French artist and photographer who works in fashion on a regular basis. The depth of color, staging, gestures and simple fun of her imagery evoke the world of storytelling. Delaportes’ photographic language imagines situations that do not exist, suggesting an alternative fantasy vision of women in fashion photography. Art historical references are fundamental to the work, and are inspired by the performing arts, such as the work of Pina Bausch, and early woman surrealist photographers, such as Claude Cahun.
The work of Sophie Delaporte has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions around the world, including New York (Sous Les Etoiles Gallery), Tokyo (Galerie 21 and HPgrp Gallery), and London (Scream Gallery). Her work is also featured in publications such as Another Magazine; Vogue Japan, China, Italy, and Russia; Interview; Harper’s Bazaar; and I-D Magazine, with whom she has regularly collaborated since the 1990s. Her series Needlework was featured in the book “The Art of Fashion Photography” by Patrick Remy, published by Prestel in 2013. Sophie Delaporte studied photography and film at the Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière.
Signature: On the back of the print
Since the early 90s, when the artist would begin her formative and longstanding collaborations with cutting-edge British magazine I-D, Sophie Delaporte has remained dedicated to the “play” of photography and fashion in its most straightforward definition, emphasizing fun, freedom and theatricality. Yet Delaporte’s lighthearted view of the worlds she creates, in which women and men appear to happily vacillate between childhood and adulthood, are anything but straightforward. This immediately recognizable style of Delaporte—highly pictorial, and often employing lush color and sparkling humor— promises such multifaceted readings, that any sequence of images can be arranged and disarranged to pleasing effect: a dinner scene, framed in front of darkening windows and spotted with silverware that reflects the impossibly bright wine set in glass goblets, could be at once a poetical, beautiful meditation on the power of the woman in red at the head of this table, and also a charged scene from a contemporary iteration of Ubu Roi. “The mysteries are decidely postmodern,” writes Vicki Goldberg, “consisting of inexplicable actions, they involve no crime and have no solution other than anyone’s guess.” With an ever-refreshing perspective, along with the mastery of pretended improvisation and movement in a tightly controlled studio setting, Delaporte positions her work in the realm of surrealism, promising nothing but the surprise and delight of the imagination.
Essay by Vicki Goldberg