At the exhibition Karl Lagerfeld, A Visual Journey presented currently at the Pinacothèque de Paris, visitors discover Karl Lagerfeld as a photographer. When you enter the first room, you are welcome by a blue full figure gloving photography of the famous designer himself. In the very beginning the exhibition explores a lot of portraits that pay tribute to women of different ages. But you don’t have to travel very far through this journey to see that Karl Lagerfeld likes to explore a lot of different styles and themes visualized in many different textures. This constant change makes the journey really exciting, as you feel like you are discovering new places. Exploring of the many aspects of Karl Lagerfeld’s visual journey ends at the fashion portraits. This part of the exhibition is flying the visitor back to the fashion field, from where many of us know the iconic creative director of Chanel.
Walking through the rooms, we realize Karl Lagerfeld is an innovative and flexible photographer. His interests are clearly not only limited to fashion as he also takes you through beautiful landscapes, architecture and Paris by night. This “Visual Journey” defines Karl Lagerfeld’s clever and intensely personal interpretation of photography.
The struggle and desire for innovation creates his vision as a photographer and presents his ambition to escape the forgotten.
“People always want to know from me what my photographic style is. I can’t say. Those who look at my pictures should say. I don’t have any style, but many or none. You must not stand still, not in life, not in fashion and not in photography,” says the artist himself
It is therefore very clear how the photographic style is adapted according to the subject which creates the visual journey as a way of exploring the many interests of this characteristic personality.
Karl Lagerfeld started his photographic career relatively late. His first professional photo was taken in 1987. Ironically this photography was taken as a necessity as his friend Eric Pfrunder, Director of Image at Chanel urgently needed a photo for a press kit.
It isn’t the first time Parisian audience have the possibility to explore the photographic world of Lagerfeld. In 2011, the Parisian gallery Magda Danysz presented an exhibition entitled Karl Lagerfeld: Photographies in 2011, which featured a limited collection of photos by Karl Lagerfeld and Adnan Taletovich – a professional fashion model and photographer.
The current exhibition at the Pinacothèque is a journey as it travels through Lagerfeld’s photographic change of style through time. A journey presenting a full spectrum of photographic media including daguerreotypes, platinotypes, Polaroid transfers, resinotypes, Fresson prints, screen-prints and digital prints. In this way, each piece really stands out in its own way and the two large photo installations, Daphnis and Chloe and Le Voyage d’Ulysse complete this journey through Lagerfeld’s photographic properties.
The photographies of beautiful landscapes and portraits work as contrasts to the fashion photographies, which together contribute to the understanding of Karl Lagerfeld’s wide range of work as a photographer in different fields.
Overall, Karl Lagerfeld, A Visual Journey is a very interesting way to travel through the photographic aspects of the iconic person Lagerfeld is. Furthermore, the journey presents you his many talents for photography that go beyond fashion.
However, it is a shame that the visual journey starts at 1994 as you miss out the real beginning of his photographic journey.
“I am fortunate to be able to do in life what interests me most: photography, fashion and books, and this in the best and most perfect conditions. I am very lucky.” Karl Lagerfeld
A Visual Journey runs at Pinacotèque, Paris until March 20 2016
Pinacotèque 2, 8 rue Vignon, 75009 Paris
Open Hours: 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
Price: 13€, Reduced Price 11€
Written by Emilie Elmquist