The photography exhibition “Karl Lagerfeld, A Visual Journey” curated by Eric Pfrunder and Gerhard Steidl is an approach to a wide range of motifs, which define Karl Lagerfeld’s interests: architecture, self-portraits, fashion, art and abstraction. Two photo installations – Daphnis and Chloe and Le Voyage d’Ulysse – complete Lagerfeld’s photographic œuvre. As eclectic his interests are, as various is his style in photography: “People always want to know what my photographic style is. I don’t know. Those who look at my pictures should tell me. I don’t have any style, I have many or I have none. You must not stand still, not in life, not in fashion and not in photography.”
Anna Ewers, Numéro; Baptiste Giabiconi, Vogue Germany; all © 2015 Karl Lagerfeld
Combining different elements such as architecture, graphic, fashion, decoration, architecture or history is characterising Lagerfeld’s particular style. His eclectiscism can be seen as a conceptual approach to his inner aspiration of not repeating himself and not being restricted to a single point of view.
“I am fortunate to be able to devote my life to what interests me most: photography, fashion and books, and in the best and most perfect conditions. I am very lucky.”
But not only regarding the motifs: from the beginning Lagerfeld strove to experiment with different techniques of photographic exposure and printing. His spectrum extends over daguerreotypes, polaroids and digital prints – just to name a few. It is surprising that Lagerfeld started his career as a photographer relatively late. It was in 1987 when his photographic vision began to take shape: “I would never have thought of making photos myself, if my friend, Eric Pfrunder, Director of Image at Chanel Fashion, had not one day pressed me to do so when he urgently needed photos for a presskit. Today photography is part of my life. It completes the circle between my artistic and professional restlessness.”
Jessica Stam, Harper’s Bazaar, USA; Anna Ewers, Numéro; Coco Rocha, Numéro; all © 2015 Karl Lagerfeld
“Karl Lagerfeld, A Visual Journey” is a hommage to Kaiser Karl’s astute and personal interpretation of photography. The exhibition manages to cover the span between fashion and art by giving single moments a further dimension. A kind of modern nostalgia, a bittersweet longing for instants of the past, without being cheesy.