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ActivismDisasters & Extreme WeatherOil Spills

Suffering Models in Oil Spill Photo Shoot

vogue-oil-spill-water and oil photo

Fast Company has a slideshow of a new photo shoot by Steven Meisel that uses the BP oil spill as its theme. Fast Company writer Tyler Gray considers the shoot distasteful, but I don’t see it as such at all.

Gray, addressing photographer Steven Meisel, writes: “Until now, you focused on moral concepts and abstract ideas. This oil is much too tangible. It is still very sticky on Louisiana’s shores. Your shoot reminds us of Derek Zoolander taking a job in a coal mine.” He later asks: “Who does this make you loathe more, BP or the fashion industry?”

I don’t think the shoot is turning the BP oil spill into a positive, fashionable thing as Gray implies. And I don’t think it is insensitively using the disaster as a fashion shoot theme. The photos seem to be doing what a recentΒ National Wildlife Federation video titled Crude Awakening did — they help us to relate to the gross, disgusting agony of the BP oil spill, especially for the animals suffering and dying from it.

The photo shoot is a sort of activism in my mind.

What do you think of the “Water & Oil” photo shoot by Steven Meisel in Vogue?

Am I missing something? Is Gray missing something?

Photo Credit: Steven Meisel via Fast Company




3 comments
  1. shawn taylor

    i think it is making people aware of the reality of oil spills. they affect humans. to put them in an oil slick damaged animal look, while being “sensationalist” (as if one shouldn’t be sensitive to these images), sends the message that these “accidents” effect humans. strong advertisement really. how’s it going zach? hope all is well. shawn

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