Two new editions, Irah Light, Sorrento 1992 & Park Washington Hotel, Miami 1990, now available at over forty Lumas galleries around the world.
“A fashion photographer who completely rewrote the rules of his trade, using city streets as expressive backdrops, offering an almost casual perspective on cutting-edge fashion designs, and favouring coincidence over carefully crafted poses. His body of work is an intoxicating journey into sensual metropolises like Naples and through fashion capitals such as New York and Paris. Van Leeuwen captures the poetic stories of everyday life with cinematographic elegance, drawing inspiration from the contrast-rich style of Film Noir and from Italian neorealism.
As a young fashion photographer, he made his way to the epicentres of haute couture; Paris and New York became his home during one of the most legendary eras in the history of fashion and art. The centre of his life was the fabled Chelsea Hotel. Andy Warhol filmed parts of ‘The Chelsea Girl’ there, which enhanced the already mythical nature of the red brick building. Van Leeuwen’s works reflect the atmosphere of these bizarre, brilliant times at ‘the factory’ and the fluctuation between avant-garde and underground.
Van Leeuwen’s photographic oeuvre is characterised by chance and spontaneity. Whether shooting Andy Warhol during a workout in the factory or capturing Freddy Mercury, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Grace Jones as they happened to stand opposite him: ‘I always tried to be open to coincidences, not restricting myself to a pre-defined concept, to find things I wasn’t even looking for but that were actually better than I could have imagined.’ The glamorous world of years gone by, captured in Van Leeuwen’s photographs, can be found in the private collections of fashion designers such as Thierry Mugler or Christian Lacroix, as well as in the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh.”
Hannah Hör, Curator at Lumas, Berlin