Explore Karl Lagerfeld’s Love Of Photography

Aside from being a legendary designer and creative director of Chanel and Fendi, fan of Diet Coke, and father to Choupette, something lesser-known about Karl Lagerfeld was his photography. Whether it was shooting his own fashion campaigns or celebrity portraits of Arnold Schwarzenegger on a motorcycle, he had an expansive ouvre. And now, starting today, New York City’s Galerie Gmurzynska will have more than 40 of his images on display.

A Comprehensive Exhibition of Karl Lagerfeld's Photography Just Opened 2

Image via Galerie Gmurzynska

At an opening on Tuesday, model Chanel Iman, writer Gay Talese, and more than 150 friends and collectors attended the opening of Homage to Karl Lagerfeld. The exhibition also opened at the gallery’s Zurich location in Talstrasse on February 21. Lagerfeld’s retrospective will be the New York location’s second exhibition after its inaugural show featuring the work of Wilfredo Lam.

A Comprehensive Exhibition of Karl Lagerfeld's Photography Just Opened 1

Image via Galerie Gmurzynska

“Karl has continuously and fearlessly explored the avant-garde of photographic processes; combining his compositional eye with his keen interest in the lost histories of the medium,” the gallery stated. “His deep knowledge of art history has always been clearly illustrated in fresh ways throughout his oeuvre, while creating his own unique processes that will continue their influence on photography and art in general.”


There’s Lagerfeld’s stunning Moulin Rouge-era 1995 portrait of Nicole Kidman and a pink-washed reenactment of Gone with the Wind. Also on display are the photos that serve almost as love letters to his home city of Paris, as well as black-and-white portraits of stars like Benicio del Toro.

A Comprehensive Exhibition of Karl Lagerfeld's Photography Just Opened 4

Image via Galerie Gmurzynska

The late designer took up photography in 1987, WWD reported, when Chanel’s image director suggested he shoot campaign images himself after Lagerfeld grew frustrated. He went on to shoot countless campaigns, books, and editorials for Chanel and Fendi, as well as brands like Adidas and Coca-Cola. In 1998, he shot some nude sepia images for a special issue of Visionaire mag, and in truly a dream combo, shot Mariah Carey for V mag in 2005.


Homage to Karl Lagerfeld is on display through April 27, 2019 at Galerie Gmurzynska. You can learn more about the exhibition here.

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