PaperCity Magazine

March 2017 - Dallas

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Page 47 of 95

DALLAS PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD KRALL OPENS UP ABOUT THE FORMATIVE YEARS HE SPENT APPRENTICING FOR THE LATE GUY BOURDIN, ONE OF FASHION'S MOST RADICAL LENSMEN. EDITED FROM AN INTERVIEW BY CHRISTINA GEYER 46 I was initially introduced to Guy Bourdin through his pictures. In the early days, I started collecting his work wherever I could find it: Vogue Paris, Linea Italiana, Photo, maybe an occasional Italian Vogue. I spent every dollar I had on those magazines. The way I actually met and started to work with him happened this way. After attending the RIP (Les Rencontres de la Photographie festival) in Arles, France in 1985, I took the train to Paris to pursue the possibility of meeting him. Everyone in Arles knew about Guy and told me I would never be able to meet him — that he was very reclusive and private. I was going to try anyway. Within a day or two of arriving in Paris, I had the idea to try to contact one of the crewmembers listed in the credits for the editorials Guy shot for Paris Vogue. Lucky for me, one of his main makeup artists, Heidi Morawetz, was listed in the phone book. I called the number, and she answered. "Hi, my name is Richard Krall," I said. "I came from Texas and I want to meet Guy Bourdin." Heidi said, "Okay. Go over to Vogue studio. He's probably over there sitting around, talking." She gave me the address and told me to ask for Michelle Zaquin, the studio manager. Heidi hadn't given me the keys to the kingdom, but she told me where it was. I headed to the address the moment I hung up the phone: the Place du Palais-Bourbon. A little nervous, I walked into the studio and saw a woman behind a desk. "Are you Michelle Zaquin?" I asked. The lady, a bit startled, said yes. "I would like a job here at Vogue studio," I said. I couldn't believe what I was saying. I hadn't intended to ask for a job abroad. It just blurted out. I pressed my luck further: "I would like to work for Guy Bourdin." She replied, "All right, why not. Do you know how to operate the equipment?" I was stunned. Guy shot with Nikons Richard Krall with Nora Arrifin in Palm Beach, photographed by Guy Bourdin, 1987 GUY I knew THE and Hasselblads, but the studio had Balcar strobe lights, which I wasn't acquainted with. I said I knew about the cameras but didn't know how to use the flash equipment. Patrick, Michelle's studio assistant, had been sitting there the whole time watching and listening. He would become one of my best friends. "Come here," he said. "This is how you turn it on, and this is how you set the power." I told Michelle I knew the flash equipment. "Be here early Monday morning," she said. "You'll meet Guy then and start work with him on a three-day shoot for the designer Emanuel Ungaro." I couldn't believe what had just happened. That was Thursday afternoon. Cloud nine. Monday finally came, and I was at the studio bright and early. Guy wasn't there. Michelle pointed at several lighting and equipment cases Patrick had gathered for me. "Get all this stuff and take it over to Hotel George V," she said. "The taxi will be here shortly." She handed me a piece of paper with the address of the hotel. When the taxi arrived, I loaded it and handed the driver that piece of paper. They had known me for 20 minutes, and I walked out with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and all of Guy's personal cameras. No requests for identification, a portfolio — nothing. We arrived at the hotel, and I made my way to the suite. Nervously I asked about Mr. Bourdin, explaining I was his assistant for this job. A wardrobe stylist said he was back there, pointing to one of the suite's rooms. There was a very tall woman with huge, wild blonde hair talking to a much less tall, unassuming fellow. Trying to mind my manners, I introduced myself to the tall lady: "I'm Mr. Bourdin's assistant," I said. "Hello," she said. "I'm Arianne, Mr. Ungaro's PR person." I turned to the short man next to her. Before I could say anything, he put his hand out to shake mine. "How are you?" he said. "Who are you?" I asked. "I'm Guy Bourdin," he said. I flitted about nervously, asking Guy where he was going to shoot, where the lights would be, et cetera. In his broken English, he said, "Richard, sit down. Relax. I don't know what I do. You have idea. You give me." Unbelievable! Guy Bourdin had just told me that if I had an idea, to let him know. I didn't. After catching my breath, I met Anouk Aimee while she was having her makeup done. The French actress, who starred in A Man and a Woman, was the model for the shoot and Ungaro's girlfriend. During the shoot, Guy asked me to model with Anouk. They had

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