"Guy Bourdin, who died in 1991, was a legend in the world of fashion photography. He was the most radical and audacious photographer of his generation but his reputation has been surrounded in secrecy–he rarely allowed his photographs to appear outside the pages of French Vogue. No book of his work has previously been published. His estate was frozen by the courts until 1997, after which his son, Samuel, gained control of his work as a result of which this long-awaited book can be published.Bourdin was originally a painter and a friend of Man Ray. His fashion photographs began to incorporate his surrealist influences. Fashion photography became an arena for his personal obsessions. The results are as shocking and astonishing as any commercial photograph ever published. They were executed meticulously. Despite his intense eroticism, subversion and, as Cecil Beaton described, 'his grotesque little gamines', Beaton referred to him in 1975 as 'unquestionably the most interesting fashion photographer in Paris today'. His work was said to have represented 'the look of an era –glamorous, hard-edged, cleverly spiced with vulgarity ... rich with implied narratives and strong erotic undercurrents' "