The old rumour
about supermodels not getting out of bed for less than a few thousand
pounds gets short shrift from Helena Christensen.
For these days
the fashion veteran would happily swap the catwalk for a roll of
In the past few
years she's steadily made the transition from model to photographer,
working on a range of prestigious, glossy magazines.
Now the 35-year-old
has her first solo exhibition People and Portraits, which has opened
at London's Proud Central Gallery.
photo and others on this page are from Helena Christensen's
at these photos for the last 15 years," she told BBC London's
entertainment correspondent Brenda Emmanus.
them framed and hanging on such a large scale, it's a whole different
includes commissioned portraits of celebrities such as Bono, Michael
Stipe and Marianne Faithfull plus work from her personal archive.
What does she feel
about opening her pictures to public scrutiny? "They were never
meant to be shown, they were just personal projects I'd be doing
for myself," she said.
has any negative criticism, it's bound to have an effect on me.
At the same time, I wouldn't hang it up unless I was quite happy
with it and it meant something to me."
The gallery owner,
Alex Proud, dismissed suggestions that he had been swayed by the
photographer's celebrity status.
"I think we
were nervous about Helena being so famous, and we asked ourselves
if the work would be good enough," he told BBC London.
"She's a fantastic
photographer and her work is hauntingly beautiful and ethereal.
I'm over the moon about it and I think it's one of the best shows
we've ever put on."
began modelling in Paris at the age of 18 and fast became a fashion
icon. Working with some of the world's most in-demand photographers
has certainly benefited her second career.
"I'm so lucky,"
she confessed, "What better education can you have for photography?"
"I never learned
technically, I never studied it. I don't think I could be any luckier."
and Portraits is at Proud Central (5 Buckingham Street, The Strand,
London WC2) until 4 October. Admission is £3, £2 concs.
go to our Galleries index for
more on London's visual arts scene