Corinne Day 1965 – 2010

31.08.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

In the early hours of Saturday 28th August 2010 British photographer Corinne Day died after a long battle with cancer. Born in 1965, Day became known for her raw aesthetic and documentary-style. She first picked up a camera while working as a model, recording the everyday lives and struggles of her colleagues – and returned to the UK with a prolific body of work. In 1990 The Face magazine gave Day her first editorial commission – an eight page story featuring the scrawny teenage beauty Kate Moss, styled by Melanie Ward and entitled ‘3rd summer of love’. The resulting collection of black and white shots of a freckle-faced, squinting Kate Moss launched the careers of all three women.

Corinne Day’s career has been punctuated by controversy – not least for her 1993 Vogue shoot of Kate Moss in her Soho flat wearing boyish underwear and framed by fairy-lights. Yet it’s her hard-edged, grunge style that made her so influential. Like her contemporaries Juergen Teller and David Sims, Day helped to distort, disturb and reinvent the glossy face of fashion photography. But by the late Nineties she’d became disenchanted with the stale and airbrushed look of magazine editorials, turning instead to reportage. This body of work was collected in the book ‘Diary’ published by Kruse Verlag in 2000 – her anti-fashion antidote to the world of glamour.

Honesty was at the heart of Corinne Day’s life and work. On discovering her terminal illness in August 2009, she insisted on recording her entire hospital experience – combating despair with documentary. In her own words: “Photography is getting as close as you can to real life, showing us things we don’t normally see. These are people’s most intimate moments, and sometimes intimacy is sad.’’

All images courtesy of Gimpel Fils

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