In the September issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, artist Marc Quinn photographed the eyes of fashion industry leaders: Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Sarah Burton… and I just thought the closeups were stunning.
“The eyes are the only internal organ you can see from the outside,” says artist Marc Quinn. “The iris is our doorway to the world. It sums up the enigma and uncertainty of life: around the edges, the colored, complex, interlaced part, and at the center, the black pupil, the mystery.” First, Quinn takes a photo of an eye with a macro lens; then, over two months, he creates a large oil painting with an airbrush. Of subjects Sarah Burton, Stella McCartney, and Karl Lagerfeld, he says, “The world goes in through their pupils, and fashion comes out through their hands.”
Marc Quinn’s “Eye on Fashion” opens a window to designers’ souls. This is a rare view into the window of each of these designers’ souls – particularly for Karl Lagerfeld who is never photographed without his famous sunglasses on.
“To have vision, that is a blessing. It does not come easily… If a collection is hard to see, I don’t give up. I just start from a really emotional place, then I can normally see it.”
“The most beautiful eyes? Elizabeth Taylor’s. Choupette comes second—her eyes are like star sapphires… This image [of my eye] completely surprised me; I could hardly believe it was my eye. There’s not just fire in my eyes, there’s fire…in my mind.”
“There is no vision without the play of memory and imagination… At Alexander McQueen, we’ve never retreated from the most personal, so for me, vision is a creative urge that depends on your willingness to go further and see something new.”
Photo Credits: Marc Quinn
Marc Quinn’s “The Toxic Sublime” is on exhibition at London’s White Cube Bermondsey through September 13, 2015
This article by Laura Brown originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR.