Fashion

In a New Retrospective, Viviane Sassen Straddles the Abyss Between Fashion & Art

© Viviane Sassen, Pop
© Viviane Sassen, AnOther
© Viviane Sassen, Pop
© Viviane Sassen, AnOther
© Viviane Sassen, UNStudio Amsterdam
© Viviane Sassen, Double
© Viviane Sassen, Purple Fashion Magazine
© Viviane Sassen, Dazed & Confused
© Viviane Sassen, Purple Fashion Magazine
© Viviane Sassen, Pop

An aerosol can, wielded by an off-camera spritzer, sprays a blond-wigged model’s vagina. Two friends, their faces painted Kabuki white, share a laugh and a glass of sparkling water. A faceless woman, wearing nothing but a white mohair shirtdress and red fuck-me pumps, dunks her long hair into a glistening pool of water. These are the vignettes that fit together to create the fantastically puzzling portfolio of photographer Viviane Sassen. The 40-year-old Dutchwoman, who spent much of her youth in Kenya, began exhibiting 17 years worth of her evocative images in a large retrospective that opened December 15 at the Huis Marseille gallery in her native Amsterdam. Comprised entirely of her singular fashion editorials, “Laboratorium: 17 Years In and Out of Fashion” is a triumphant assembly of beauty in all its bizarre glory. —ALEXANDRA GALKIN