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Elegantly Wasted

Film and Print production, December 1996 

 

In December 1994 Pierre Winther got introduced to Michael Hutchence in Copenhagen through Helena Christensen. Michael liked Pierre’s photographic work for Levi’s and Diesel campaigns and was specifically fascinated by his distinctive cinematic style and the Diesel “Car crash” image. Two years later, in 1996 Michael invited Pierre to London to work on the campaign shoot for INXS´s latest (and sadly last) album “Elegantly Wasted”. He created a concept with fluorescent cars as a trademark for their record album and a female guardian angel in the center of the visuals, to pursue Michael´s wish to replace his role as the front figure. 

The shoot took place over 12 days in Downtown LA and Palmdal, a city located near the Mojave Desert within Los Angeles County – the same location where the TV series Breaking Bad got filmed 11 years later. It was rather planned as a movie production than an ordinary record shoot, portraying an excessive lifestyle, crashing sports cars, illuminated driveways, and a lot of fun within the absurd – with the members of the band playing each a different role. Michael´s character was that of an ex pilot fighter who got “lost in translation”, wearing a jet fighter suit on every image. Everyone of the band enjoyed the energy on set while staying in character during these days – in a sort of collective trance. Cast : Michael Hutchence, Gary Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Laura von Lindholm ( “The Guardian Angel”  ) 

As a marketing idea Pierre Winther came up with concept to have these fluorescent cars driving around in key cities, like NYC and Paris on the day of the record release. In London a fluorescent car was even hanging over the River Thames from a crane. 

 

Role: Creator, Director and photographer

 

 

Book : My brother, lost boy of INXS

In late 1996 Michael came to LA to shoot the Elegantly Wasted cover with Danish photographer and director Pierre Winther. Winther´s work in advertising included a stuntman actually riding a big tiger shark at the Great Barrier Reef. They had met at Helena’s apartment in Copenhagen in 1994. “I felt an immediate connection – Michael an I simply clicked”, Pierre told me. “We shared a slightly sarcastic sense of humour. We were laughing about the same things. He was just also a very likeable person, very down to earth. Not how you’d expect a rock star to be. “I had a business card with an image from one of my Diesel campaigns on one side and the shark-riding image from my Levi’s campaign on the other side,” Pierre continued.”Michael really liked that they had the look of something out of a movie. So when we got together for the first official meeting in London… (read more: Michael – My brother, lost boy of INXS, a book by Tina Hutchence and Jen Jewel Brown.

 

 

A selection of available art works can be inquired over art@pierrewinther.com

 

 

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( working title for the scene) 

“The Guardian Angel”  

 

 The entire shoot is done with KODAK and FUJI Film Products

 

 

 

POLAROIDS

POLAROIDS OCCUPY A SPECIAL PLACE IN PHOTOGRAPHY, ALL THE MORE SO SINCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL TECHNIQUES. THE INSTANT PRINT AND ABSENCE OF EDITING TOOLS ALLOWS THESE ON-OF-A KIND IMAGES A BEGUILING REALNESS: IN NO OTHER PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDIUM DOES THE MOMENT FIND ITS MATERIAL FORM WITH SUCH SINCERITY AND SUCH SPEED. WHAT WAS ONCE A CRUCIAL TOOL FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS TO TEST THEIR SHOTS BEFORE SHOOTING ON FILM HAS NOW BECOME OBSOLETE IN THE FACE OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY. WHILE ANDY WARHOL TO DOCUMENT HIS ERA LIKE INSTAGRAM CAPTURES OUR OWN, PIERRE WINTHER ALSO USED THE POLAROID TECHNIQUE TO PROVE HIS PHOTOGRAPHY TO BE DONE WITHOUT THE AID OF DIGITAL MANIPULATION.

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Behind the scene 

Elegantly Wasted film shoot in December of 1996

 

Outtakes from the film 

Elegantly Wasted film shoot December of 1996