I sat down with a big pile of magazines and papers yesterday and before I even got to any editorial, I was discomfited by the new Hermes ads in which elephants (how original!) with vast amounts of paint around their eyes were used as props.
A few minutes later, the inspiration for this – Avedon’s famous “Dovima with Elephants” - popped up in the New York Times “Evening Hours” section, seen being admired by an anonymous viewer at the Park Avenue Armory art show. ( A large print of "Dovima" now sells for close to $1 million.)
Moving on through the Times, the Sunday Magazine (praised by me last week for their Ryan McGinley portfolio) committed double imitation – not only using elephants as props for an 8 page fashion spread, but stealing the title “Trunk Show”, from Bruce Weber’s infamous 2005 elephant shoot for W Magazine. (In Weber’s pictures the pastiche was front and center as some of the biggest names in fashion created original couture for the elephants themselves. At least Weber, a known animal lover, saw fit to contribute to Elephant Family - a charity whose mission is to help save Asian Elephants.)
But enough with the elephants – O.K.?
Avedon's "Dovima with Elephants".