Nick Knight - Fashion and art

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Nick Knight

Nick Knight´s (b. 1958) first book was published while he was still a student at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (now The Arts University College at Bournemouth) in 1982. This led to a commission in i-D, the oh so very prestigious fashion/lifestyle magazine edited by Terry Jones in London. This commission quickly led to other prestigious fashion assignments.

Under "awards and exhibitions", Wikipedia states that "Knight has won awards for his editorial work for Vogue, Dazed & Confused, i-D, The Face, W Magazine, Another Magazine, Arena Homme + and Visionaire, as well as for fashion and advertising projects such as the 2004 edition of the Pirelli Calendar. He has shot album covers for Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Björk, Boy George, David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, The Style Council, Paul Weller, Gwen Stefani, Cheryl Cole, Seal, ABC and Massive Attack, and has produced Nicknight (1994), a twelve year retrospective, and Flora (1997), a series of flower pictures, both published by Schirmer Mosel. Knight's work has been exhibited at H U J such international art institutions as the Victoria & Albert Museum, Saatchi Gallery, the Photographers' Gallery and Hayward Gallery. In 1993, he also produced a permanent installation, Plant Power, for the Natural History Museum in London."

Knight represents a wave of fashion photographers who made the cross-over into art in the 1990s and whose work has been exhibited extensively in arenas traditionally associated with Fine Art.



Stylistically, Knight has moved a long way from his black and white shots of Skinheads in 1982. His fashion images are often treated to extensive digital manipulation and he frequently works in blocks of strong colours.

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Yohji Yamamoto catalogue, 1986


Some of his most iconic images come from his work for/with Alexander McQueen, who was himself known for extreme designs and for taking inspiration from art history. Art and fashion are often very closely connected, and in the work by a photographer like Knight, these links are clearly made, not just copied.


Devon Aoki for Alexander McQueen, Visionaire, 1997

One of the themes that go through his work is a concern with beauty - what is beautiful and who do we consider beautiful? In several series, he has photographed subjects that would not normally be considered "model material" - not because they are ordinary, but because they are extraordinary, or what many would consider damaged (Alison Lapper) or models who don´t correspond with the ideal within fashion industry (Sophie Dahl).

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'Fashion-able', Alison Lapper, Dazed & Confused, September 1998


Sophie Dahl

Nick Knight has also done a range of music related projects, including directing music videos and shooting the cover for one of Bjørk´s records.

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Lady Gaga (2009?)

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