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  • Christy and Naomi, Los Angeles, Vogue Italia, December 1989

  • Christy Turlington, Paris, Vogue Italia, February 1992

  • Linda Evangelista, New York City, Allure, June, 1991

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Steven Meisel’s “Role Play” exhibition hits New York

After visiting Paris and London, Steven Meisel’s “Role Play” travelling exhibition takes over New York. The selling exhibition, which debuts today at the headquarters of Phillips auction house, features 25 large format photos handpicked by Meisel himself, aiming to cast a light on his prolific career. Meisel has been fascinated with fashion from a very young age and since his beginnings as an illustrator for Women’s Wear Daily back in the 80’s his enormous talent made him stand out.

Considered as a true visionary, he has influenced the way we understand fashion photography, creating a distinctive vocabulary that is not afraid to touch difficult issues like politics, terrorism, domestic violence, mental health issues, plastic surgery or the lack of racial diversity in fashion. Famous for his legendary Black Issue for Vogue Italia, featuring only black models, and his Sex book for Madonna, Meisel’s work goes way beyond the typical fashion editorial, challenging our limits with his thought-provoking imagery.

Throughout his illustrious career, Meisel has shot innumerous fashion campaigns for names like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Valentino, Balenciaga and Calvin Klein, including all Prada campaigns since 2004. His work has been featured in every top fashion publication, from Vogue Italia (he has shot shot every cover for the past 25 years!), Vogue USA and Vanity Fair to Interview and W magazine. He has formed part of the golden era of the top models, launching the career of many, among them his beloved Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell. A renowned perfectionist, Meisel is involved in all aspects of a fashion shooting, from the make-up and hair to the set design.

“Role play” offers an extensive glance into the creative world of the enigmatic photographer –Meisel hardly gives interviews– paying homage at the same time to his unique use of role-playing as an instrument to create a parallel reality, a fashion fantasy world where anything seems possible. “Steven Meisel is one of the most important fashion photographers working today and Phillips is honored to be collaborating with him on this very exciting selling exhibition. For the past few decades his visual language has been shaping both the fashion and photographs industries and will no doubt continue to do so,” said Vanessa Hallett, Phillips Senior Director and Worldwide Head, Photographs. “Role play” will remain on view at Phillips New York, 450 Park Avenue, until March 3, 2015.