When Angelina Jolie Is No Longer Angelina Jolie
Tom Cruise declined. Mariah Carey demurred. But it was easier with Mark Zuckerberg. And with Barack Obama. They agreed. As did Clint Eastwood and Ang Lee. And Angela Merkel. And Bill Clinton. George Clooney was up for anything. Rip into an old photo and affix the nose and eyes to his face with a rubber band, like a mask. Press the shutter. Presto. Pure irony. The shot that was seen around the world.
Martin Schoeller gets closer to his subjects than any other photographer. Maximum approach, minimum distance, visceral visuals. The camera right at eye level. Light conditions like a tanning bed. An angle slightly from below. Mercilessly close. So close that the reviewer in the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung almost couldn’t find Angelina Jolie amidst all the Angelina Jolie in the image.
The faces are presented in ways never before seen in photographs. Famous faces. Obscure faces. A topography of life. Not beautiful. Not ugly. Not attractive. Not repulsive. Not joyous. Not gloomy. Just authentic. Divested of nearly all intimacy, in a close-up that expands every element. The whole fades into the background, while the details loom. Pores, wrinkles, and crow’s feet are like signposts on a trail. Scars serve as storytellers for a life. And eyes offer epiphanies into inner worlds. Schoeller says simply, “I take photos that lie less than others.”
A student of Annie Leibovitz, Schoeller has shot Quentin Tarantino in a straightjacket and Udo Lindenberg dancing on a table in a spiked helmet. Now he has taken photos of
Every Christophorus is different. This one all the more so. It comes in six different versions: six race-car drivers, six photos, six views of “openness and vulnerability.” Faces revealed in the stillness of an instant. A tribute to those who live the
Wherever you have come from, wherever you are going, our Christophorus will accompany you.
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