This is the first time I’ve seen this particular model, but I’m quite familiar with the work of her photographer, Leonardo, so I assume she is in capable hands. This photographer has a particular knack for lighting design, and he has impressed me with his skill and artistry time and again. But after viewing only a handful of images in this series I realize the man is not infallible!
The set design is a chaotic collection of patterns and colors. Black and white striped curtains are flanked by gaudy, outsized floral tapestries. A couch is upholstered in a patchwork parti-colored fabrics. A cut glass table lamp adds a bit more visual clutter, and then odd and unexplained light throws diagonal shadows across the body of the hapless model who must somehow take center stage surrounded by this visual chaos.
Gillian B does her best, but she’s working at a distinct disadvantage. She is a pretty girl, with a curvy body and a winning smile (see #019), but despite her concerted efforts I can never “tune out” the distracting background and devote my full, relaxed attention to her attributes and performance. The sheer blue blouse is sexy, yes, but it’s not nearly dramatic enough to compete with the kaleidoscopic visual assault she must contend with here.
Perhaps “Rander” is a stylized variation on the word “random,” because there’s an arbitrary, haphazard quality to the art direction and execution here. The work of an inexperienced artist? That I’d understand. But from a seasoned and accomplished professional like Leonardo? Well, even the master has an “off day,” or so it seems.
Take Gillian B, in the very same blue blouse, and put her on white sheets on a white bed in a white room — that kind of simplicity would both flatter and showcase this model in simple and effective fashion. Make no mistake, I had a strong reaction to this set. But I do welcome other points of view. Is there something I’ve missed in coming to my conclusions? Please feel free to share your points of view, below.