August 15, 2010

Water & Oil

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:54 am by Gina

It was April 20th when BP’s deepwater oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and effectively started the United State’s largest oil spill. We have all watched, nearly helpless, as estimates of 4,200,000 gallons of oil poured into the sea daily.

Now barely four months later, Vogue Italia’s August Issue features an oil-inspired spread among its glossy pages. Covering 24 pages, the controversial photo spread titled “Water & Oil” are being discussed internationally. The images show model Kristen McMenamy in outfits made of net and feathers draped over rocks and covered in oil, lying prone or even choking on water.

The Today Show asked viewers to leave a comment on their opinion of the “Water & Oil” photo spread. As can be expected, people range from: “The “fashion” world has always gone to far….but this is ridiculous! I am cancelling my subscription NOW!”-Luna0316. To: “It’s art and it makes a topical statement. Art is meant to be thought-provoking and sometimes angering. I wish it was Vogue US, not Italia.” from “trivia.”

Capturing people’s attention was one goal that has clearly been accomplished. Photographed by Steven Meisel, the pictures are haunting yet capturing. Journalists, bloggers, readers are debating it’s message/motivation.

Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, said the shoot reflects the magazine’s effort to “find an idea that comes from real life. … There is nothing political. There is nothing social. It’s only visually. We gave a message but in a visual way.” –according to Lisa Orkin Emmanuel – Associated Press.

Deputy Editor Dodai Stewart of Jezebel, a sight frequently mentioned here on becauseiamawoman, disagrees. “I didn’t feel it made a statement,” she said in an interview. “I felt that they used the oil spill as a backdrop. There was one picture that had feathers. … What makes a stronger statement about oil-slicked birds is an oil-slicked bird.”

I don’t know the true motivation of Vogue Italia, if it is to sell more issues or to raise an important environmental issue. Still, I think Stewart is wrong. It is easier to ignore something (sometimes even someone) who doesn’t look like us. Forcing people to think of themselves in the same position millions of animals are currently in, covered in oil, choking on oil, drowning in oil, will perhaps help them realize the sincerity of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Check out the entire slideshow here and let me know what you think!

1 Comment »

  1. mech said,

    this is so intense! but i love it! i love that vogue italia did this shoot. i think it shows what it would look like if we were as detrimentally effected by the oil spill as the animals are.

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