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October 6, 2017

Wonderful Black and White Photos of Kylie Minogue Taken by Simon Fowler in 1989

Simon Fowler is an English photographer/director, known for his work with many singers and bands. As principal photographer for Smash Hits at the height of its reign as the standard bearer for all things fashionably pop in the UK throughout the eighties, his signature work represents bespoke visual signposts for some of the biggest selling and most popular recording artists on the planet. Even more remarkable is the vast gamut of British and European cultural genres his photography embraces.

Aside from photographing touring heavyweights including Bruce Springsteen, The Jacksons, Meat Loaf, Blue Oyster Cult and David Bowie, from punk to the present it’s less a case of who is present than who never made the cut. 

His archives include Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Pretenders, The Boomtown Rats, Ozzy Ozbourne,... 

Simon didn’t so much shoot the ‘80s as help nail it for posterity.

For a decade made queerer by the ‘Wall Street’ “greed is good” manifesto as the yin to the yang of 1985’s ‘Live Aid’ good vibes, Simon’s camera captured all its contradictory exotica and excess as well as anybody. He happily bookended the late eighties before it ran headlong into the Britpop nineties with such rock luminaries as The Stones Roses, Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Simply Red/Mick Hucknall, Underworld, Menswear, Tricky, Blur, Seude and James. Add to that photographing most of PWL Hit Factory, this meant not only Jason Donovan, but a coquettish Kylie Minogue.

“One of my driving forces apart from seeking to photograph the best acts of the day, was to also show how I had a much better feel for creating a far more empathetic image to accompany their music than high-end fashion photographers,” Simon explains. “Until then they had traditionally been the vogue for the bigger name acts, but I knew I could communicate another kind of visual expressionism. Even more so with a lot of solo singers like Freddie Mercury, Boy George, Bryan Ferry, Paul Young, Mick Hucknell and a piano leaping Jamie Cullum, but especially the women.”

(Photos by Simon Fowler)


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