A New Photography Book Unmasks Fashion’s Glittery Façade

Anna Furman, New York Magazine, March 22, 2017

Named after rapper B.G.’s song “Bling Bling,” the photography book Bling Bling Baby explores intersections of ‘90s hip-hop culture and contemporary fashion in lavish excess. While B.G. describes luxury goods as ultimate symbols of success, the photographers featured in Bling Bling Baby capture glamorous lifestyles with “a twinkle in their eye,” the book’s editor Nadine Barth told the Cut.Published by Hatje Cantz, the collection features striking images from a recent exhibition in Germany alongside Barth’s own poetic musings on diamonds, decadence, and conspicuous levels of consumption. “We say bling bling when the glitz almost hurts,” she writes in the book’s introduction, “when we’re blinded by so much luxury and sparkle.” Each photograph examines aspirational living, as shown in the slideshow ahead: In Polixeni Papapetrou’s Eden series, a young woman holds a lush bouquet of red and violet flowers in front of her face, obscuring her ability to see. An image by Daniel Sannwald takes a similar approach, replacing a model’s eyes with two gleaming pearls that match a gaudy white septum ring in his nose. Both images are vibrantly colorful and somewhat campy, underscoring the message that excess can be blinding.

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