Francis Giacobetti didn’t simply reinvent the nude, nor did he just bring the pin-up to Paris. Beyond masterminding these significant cultural innovations, he also found time to renovate the entire artistic process of taking pictures. Working under 14 pseudonyms, he was the principal photographer at the infamous monthly magazine, Lui, where he put Jane Birkin on the cover, and fastidiously barred any retouching, imbuing the nude with an elegant authenticity. Developing an unorthodox, painterly approach to his work, often shrouding his subjects in a zebra-toned lattice of light and shadow, his blurring of fashion and art scored him work for Vogue and the Pirelli calendar. For those uninitiated with his genius, Assouline’s latest book Giacobetti: Nus is a must-read, offering a comprehensive introduction to a luminary who was obsessed with understanding and reframing the human body.
Credit: Zebra 0, Paris Studio, February 1988. © Giacobetti