Adaptable, inventive, and chimerical are the three main adjectives with which we could describe Tim Walker, one of the photographers who has moulded the present and future of the fashion industry and left his mark on contemporary art.
Walker's love of photography began in the Condé Nast bookstore, where he worked before entering university. Being a prodigious artist was already marked in his career, as by the age of 25 he could afford to say that he had worked as an assistant to the legendary Richard Avedon and had his photographs published in the Vogue UK.
His dreamlike images fascinated fashion editors and art curators around the world, and continue to transport viewers to new realities inhabited by all manner of fantastical creatures, which fascinate with their extravagant beauty.
The vast majority of his characters are not anonymous, as he has portrayed celebrities such as Tilda Swinton, Alexander McQueen, Saoirse Ronan, Tim Burton, Jean Campbell and Cate Blanchett, yet he transforms them into extraordinary beings who could have stepped out of a surrealist painting, a fairy tale or even the court of Marie Antoinette herself in the 18th century.
For Tim Walker, fantasy comes before fashion photography. After all, he considers himself a storyteller and that is exactly what he always seeks to convey: the story of the person in front of him.
Far From Land
When model Kristen McMenamy told him of her desire to portray a mermaid, Walker began working with her on a series of photos entitled "Far From Land" published by W magazine.
With dazzling silver hair, a mermaid tail, a pearl stud on her nose and dressed in delicate gowns by Vionnet, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, among other great designers, McMenamy appears as the tragic protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, either imprisoned in a water tank or awaiting the end for having given her love to a human.
Like A Doll
An innocent game of dolls can become disturbing just by changing perspective. This sense of the uncanny is what Walker conveys through "Like A Doll", a photoshoot he did for Vogue Italia with model Lindsey Wixson.
Next to a doll twice her size and identical to her, Wixson immerses herself in a childish and macabre reality, where mischief is not just about running free in the woods or drinking tea, but looking indifferently at nothing while her artificial doppelgänger tries to off herself with a plastic bag.