Known internationally as the “original wild child of fashion photography,” Jim Lee recently explained his photographic motivations as well as his intentions in creating the portfolio:
“I began my photographic career with the hopes of one day becoming a film director. I embraced the camera frame almost as if it were a blank canvas, knowing that in this space I could create and find a visual equivalent for anything that came to mind. I wanted to express how I felt about life – and record my observations with a topical, social, political, and very often humorous twist. It didn’t matter that, as a photographer, I was not able to shoot moving images. I would construct my still images dynamically. I felt that I could motivate my artists/models and catch a specific moment in time. I would frame tightly into the subject to create a sense of urgency and closeness cutting into the margins of the frame. Strategically, by deliberately cropping parts of the picture, I would encourage the viewer to fill in the potential story themselves; thus, expanding the frame. Inevitably I would “arrest” or freeze a moment in time hopefully creating an ambiguity or a beguiling afterthought lingering in the viewer’s mind.
The platinum process used to produce these six images have been carefully chosen because of the specific qualities in the images that take advantage of the subtleties of this very refined printing technique. The mystery and complexity of the content is beautifully expressed through the sensitivity, the tactile properties, and the rich half-tone resolution (with their deep blacks and creamy whites) inherent in the platinum printing process. The images were selected as highlights of my visual investigations. I’ve deliberately chosen a range of images – some early and some more recent – to give a breadth to my development and follow my narrative process from the early extravagant lifestyles of the rich and privileged to the inventive fashion, and more experimental post Vietnam era lifestyles sweeping through London in the 60’s and 70’s, to the contemporary relationship between sex and desire. The six images are, for me, photographic moments frozen in time that investigate the complex matrices of privilege, fashion, and power.”