I find myself simultaneously attracted and repulsed by these images, like my psyche is saying 'I LIKE them!! But I shouldn't'. They're like a challenge, can you appreciate something for the artistic content regardless of the fact that the literal content is something you'd likely not approve of in reality? Violence, violent sex...even murder?
This next set of images really caused an uproar in some quarters:
I don't believe that French Vogue ever apologised or explained why they decided to have Lara 'blacked up' rather than using a black model, but there must be some reasoning behind it. Some people seem to think that Vogue were trying to fool readers into thinking she was actually black, but given their reputation for intentionally provoking controversy and outrage, I very much doubt it.
My personal opinion is that images like these are designed to do the very thing they achieve, open up arguments and get people talking about these sensitive issues. There are doubtless other artistic messages behind them, but I believe that one of the points of art is that everyone interprets it in their own individual way.
I almost left the next one out because it made me quite uneasy...then I realised that's what I'm talking about, so how stupid would that have been?
It just goes to show that everyone reads what they like into things. I think this looks like a woman who has just been attacked and left for dead, I don't like it very much I must say. Yet, when I search the web for information about it, nothing except excitement/upset that Lara has replaced Madonna as the face of Louis Vuitton. Ho Hum.
This next one is my absolute favourite:
French Vogue again, Lara did a shoot dressed as a rather overtly sexy nun. I can imagine which subsection of society was outraged at this one, especially given that an estimated 83-90% of the French population are Catholic. The item was entitled 'La Tentation du Diamant', The Temptation of Diamonds, and is depicting the struggle of a nun trying to choose between a life of spirituality and the temptation of wealth and the flesh.
This is what art/fashion/fashion/art should be about. Making us challenge ourselves and our views of the world, stirring up controversy and making people talk about things, putting issues out there.
I think I actually quite like Lara Stone, and might even try and pick up a French Vogue every now and again.
I bet David spends hours leafing through her portfolio.