September 1st 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down
On this day in 1983 the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 from New York City to Seoul was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter over the Sea of Japan. All 269 passengers and crew aboard the flight were killed, leaving no survivors; the majority of the victims were South Koreans. Flight 007 was off course and strayed into Soviet airspace, which was on high alert due to the presence of a US reconnaissance plane that resembled a Boeing 747 aircraft. Soviet pilot Major Gennadi Osipovich was responsible for the attack, and despite privately suspecting it might be a civilian jet, fired a heat-seeking missile at the plane which caused it to crash into the ocean. Occurring in the middle of the Cold War, the incident increased tensions between the world’s two leading superpowers - the United States and the Soviet Union. In what US President Ronald Reagan called a “massacre”, among the 269 victims was a US Congressman from Georgia. This incident has been much discussed recently due to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine on July 17th 2014.
After spending a few decades shooting high-concept high-fashion spreads for the likes of i-D, Vogue, W Magazine, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Christian Dior, photographer Nick Knight has recently launched a body of work in London, nearly 10 years in the making. Inspired by paintings from the Baroque period, Knight’s altered large-format photographs of elegant floral arrangements take on a psychedelic, gorgeously twisted liquidity. By exposing the prints to various combinations of heat, chemical and water treatments during the printing process, he’s able to interject each piece with an intriguing, painterly flair.