Before there was Terry Richardson, there was John Rankin Waddell, known to the fashion and art world as "Rankin". The dude was born 1966 in Glasgow, UK, and is a British portrait and fashion photographer. Rankin takes some of the sexiest photos ever, of the hottest models and most beautiful people in the world. A lot of them are naked as well, which we're sure you'll enjoy if you Google, "Rankin sexy hot Kate Moss naked".
Today, a 25-year retrospective of his work (600 images) opens at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, in London. Since that is London, and we're in New York, we're not there. Instead, we've composed a brief history of what this guy does to help you on the way to learning who he is (so you sound cultured) and what he does (so you have a little inspiration on what to wish for/new T-shirt graphic ideas). Read on below for an abridged history of Rankin's work and then go get your Google on. The man is a beast...
Dazed & Confused (1992), RANK Magazine (2000), Another Magazine (now) and Another Man
Rankin rose to fame through Dazed & Confused, a magazine he started with Jefferson Hack in the early '90s. It was known for its finger on the pulse of awesomeness, and Rankin's lens made the imagery nutso. Dazed & Confused has outlived it's imitators, and while Rankin is no longer the man behind it's imagery, it's still known as a leader in what is left of the fashion mag scene. Following that, he did RANK, another tour de Rankin force. Now that he's famous as crap, he's not behind the monthly lens but publishes Another Magazine, and Another Man.
All of Rankin's books are insanely sexy and make great gifts for female friends on the verge (of bisexuality or otherwise), so look up his catalog and choose your own adventure. Pretty sure "Snog" means "Make Out" in bad teeth-speak.
Sofasexy: Turning a Cheap Sofa into an Object of Desire (2002)
We were going to sit here and go through each of his books, but you know what? Maybe you should just buy this one, and then go from there. We also reccomend Rankin Nudes for the coffee table.
Breeding: A Study of Sexual Ambiguity (2004)
What if you photographed everyone in black and white, with no shirts on, all in a row? Kate Moss? What if, indeed.
Me Me Me (2007)
This series of self portraits included portrayals of the photographer as Claudia Schiffer, Superman and a sinister pig accomplished through costuming and digital manipulation techniques.
Rankin's London show was a series of extreme closeups of friends, family, and colleagues' irises. "The eye is the first thing that I look at," Rankin was quoted. "I ask subjects to communicate with the camera through their eyes."
One Dress (2000s)
As part of a passion project, Rankin photographed upwards of 50 models in the same light beige Gucci dress in a variety of ways. Selections of it are on his site, dude is king of the ladies.
Domestic Violence Campaign (2007)
Rankin composed this series of staged domestic abuse images to bring art and reality to the situation for the UK organization Women's Aid.