DALLAS — “Pretty Much Everything,” an expansive show of fashion and portrait photographs by powerhouse couple Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, makes its U.S. debut Saturday night with a party at the Dallas Contemporary.
The exhibit opened last year with about 250 prints at Foam museum of photography in Amsterdam and has grown to more than 300 images, explains van Lamsweerde.
“The whole idea is this continuous loop of images in no chronological order,” she says. “The images are strung together like a sentence, and the combinations of works are based on very personal and intuitive relationships between the people in the pictures. Sometimes it’s a formal relationship, and sometimes it has just to do with the memory of two different shoots. Sometimes the people are friends.”
New to the show is a heretofore unseen series of Lady Gaga portraits shot last year on a Nebraska farm during the filming of Gaga’s music video “You and I.” The imposing 60-by-60-inch prints portray different characters and costumes.
“She asked us to make videos and photos of her at the same time to bridge fashion with rock ’n’ roll,” van Lamsweerde explains. “She would come into the white studio that we had built and make five separate videos with us that were each based on the character that she portrayed at that moment.”
The experience was a non-stop 48-hour marathon.
“She had so much energy — she kept going,” van Lamsweerde says. “We have images of her as a mermaid, and she had been in prosthetics for seven hours shooting the video and unable to walk, and she still came to our studio to do a full video and a photo shoot with us...It was like 110 degrees. It was so much fun it was incredible.”
The New York-based Dutch photographers chose Dallas for the exhibit’s U.S. debut because of the city’s thriving art scene, she explains.
“It seemed to us that in Dallas there is such a vibrant community of collectors, and people are enthusiastic about photography as art, and there is also a huge interest in fashion,” van Lamsweerde observes. “Of course, there is New York and Los Angeles as centers, but outside of that I think Dallas is really where it’s at.”
The Dallas Contemporary, an independent non-collecting museum in the Design District, is an ideal location because it’s divided into two big rooms.
“It’s what we always wanted,” van Lamsweerde notes. “It’s one exhibit made by two people, two brains, and the book that Taschen published [of the same title], which is a larger selection of images, is in two volumes. It’s this idea of everything being in twos already situated in that space. It seemed to click right away for us.”
The show runs through Dec. 30 and is slated to appear next year in Moscow at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture.