Painter, photographer and filmmaker Simon Procter grew up in a mining town in northern England. After having studied painting and sculpture at Trent University, he moved to Paris in the 1990s to work as a photographer. His innovative approach to capturing fashion shows, landed him an exhibition at the prestigious Colette gallery and soon led to a career as a fashion photographer.
His classical training as an artist has always been evident in his work. He takes a painterly approach to photography and makes frequent references to art history. His works bring together the worlds of art and fashion and are as readily seen in fashion magazines as in museums and at art fairs. His powerful and dynamic visual language has led to close working relationships with some of the legends of the fashion world.
Our show, Modeland and Mr. Lagerfeld, features photographs taken by Simon Procter from 2010 to 2017. These works were selected from Procter’s book Modeland and from his long and fertile collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. Many of these photographs have been previously exhibited in museums and are to be found in both private and public permanent collections, and some are exhibited here for the very first time. These works were selected to show the breadth of Procter’s practice as a photographer.
The artist on his first experience working with Karl Lagerfeld:
“It was some years ago now that Harper’s Bazaar magazine asked me to fly to New York and shoot Karl Lagerfeld. There was a lot of pressure and I had not been taking photographs very long. The shoot was very complicated - four different exterior locations all over Manhattan. The day before the shoot the permits had still not been cleared and Mr. Lagerfeld’s team informed us that he would be working all night and coming directly to the shoot without sleeping. On the day of the shoot we all waited on the roof of a magnificent skyscraper; models, crew, art directors, make-up and hair teams, waiting for insurance documents and waiting for Mr. Lagerfeld himself.
And then he arrived.
He greeted every single person graciously and almost immediately a warm calm descended on the shoot. He reassured everyone and made the models giggle. We worked intensely but happily, running around all over New York, even shooting in the legendary Grand Central Station without any permission. Karl just strode through the main hall unannounced and before anyone realized what was happening we had the shot, and we jumped in our cars and were gone.
This was to be first of many shoots together and each time has been with the same rare combination of excitement and sheer joy.”