Top image: Untitled #19, courtesy of Willy Vanderperre
Throughout his career, photographer Willy Vanderperre has created some of fashion’s most iconic images: from Prada and Raf Simons campaigns to portraits of everyone from A$AP Rocky to the Kardashians, the Belgian iconoclast – who has ties to the fabled Antwerp Six – has established himself as one of the best in the business.
But new exhibition hurt, burn, ruin and more, which launched last week at 180 The Strand’s Store X, moves away from fashion. Instead, Vanderperre has turned his lens to flowers – more specifically, burnished “flower sculptures” in various states of decay.
His distinctive brand of dark, ethereal romance is written across the works, which range from plastic-wrapped bouquets – a commentary on the preservation of idealised beauty – to slowly-rotting roses and smashed-up portraits of exotic flowers. Collectively, they’re an exploration of mortality and a reclamation of sorts, which finds solace and even potential in the inevitability of the life cycle.
Hardcore fans of the photographer can also get their hands on a few limited-edition collectibles, available until the exhibition closes later this week.
hurt, burn, ruin and more, is open at 180 The Strand from March 12 to March 22, 11am to 6pm, closed Mondays. A line of collectables including t-shirts and stickers will be available.