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Extreme Close-Ups

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The exhibition ‘Up Close’ with photographs by Martin Schoeller opened at the OstLicht Gallery in Vienna on 30 October 2018. The artist attended the opening reception.

He has photographed them all: Cate Blanchett, Christopher Walken, Dolly Parton and George Clooney; Rihanna, Willem Dafoe, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Martin Schoeller ranks among the most renowned portrait photographers of our time. For the past twenty years, the German-born artist has captured iconic personalities from the world of politics, sports, cinema and music in intimate, hyper-detailed images characterised, not least, by his application of unforgiving lighting. The exhibition at Vienna’s OstLicht Gallery – the first showcase of Schoeller’s work in Austria – comprises selected works from his series ‘Close Up’, ‘Portraits’, ‘Identical’, ‘Transgender’ and ‘Female Bodybuilder’.

The internationally acclaimed series ‘Close Up’ lets the viewer stand eye-to-eye with famous personalities, whose unguarded faces are depicted in extremely large-scale portraits. Schoeller has been composing his images in a recurring manner since the 1990s, by meticulously measuring his subjects’ eye level and positioning the camera correspondingly. Instead of a flash, he uses soft neon light – resulting in the luminous eye effect so characteristic for his work. By exercising total control, the artist relieves his models of the need to perform or orchestrate their appearance. Nothing remains hidden: every wrinkle, every birthmark is open to scrutiny, with each feature being exaggerated to the point of hyperreality. 

For further information visit Galerie Ostlicht
Martin Schoeller

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