Art FocusVincent Peters’ Celebrity Portraits

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Elegant, glamorous and exquisite, Vincent Peters’ celebrity portraits diverges from commerciality and takes inspiration from fine art.

Vincent Peters is considered one of the most prominent fashion and celebrity photographers of recent times. He has worked with major publications such as Vogue, GQ, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar, and boasts a portfolio packed with stunning celebrity portraits of Hollywood’s most famous and beautiful people—from Laetitia Casta and Michael Fassbender to Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron.

See also: Horst: Photographer of Style

The Bremen-born photographer—who has also worked with major luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Guerlain, La Perla and Cartier—describes his personal artistic style as being very traditional: ‘I use classic techniques and styles. I love photography and I’m stubborn.

But I’m not the techno DJ…I’m more the guy with the piano,’ he says simply. To Vincent Peters, the perfect picture can be compared to a melody. ‘My favourite part of photography is being able to show the theatre in my head to others. Sometimes there is a harmony that moves us, that remains in the head,’ he explains, ‘There are always many pictures of a story but there is also always one picture that is the story—that is how we remember it.’

Vincent Peters’ interest in photography flourished from a very young age: ‘I was kicked out of school at age 16 and needed something to get into. Art school was the only “university” who took people without a finished school diploma.’ His career officially began in the 1980s, when he started taking pictures of his travels in Thailand.

In 1989 he moved to New York to work as a photographer assistant; he then decided to make his own mark and pursue his own vision—but the photography industry has greatly evolved since then. According to the artist, nowadays there is a real fixation with perfection—a phenomenon that can’t help but take away from the concept of real, untampered beauty. ‘There is an obsessive competition of perfection and retouching these days and I keep asking myself “is this what women really want to look like?” living behind filters and a glass wall? Beauty needs some truth,’ Peters says.

See also: Helmut Newton Photography: Pages from the Glossies

Running from 20 January until 18 March 2017, the Leica Gallery in Frankfurt will showcase a number of new works by the photographer over a space of 1000 square metres. This exhibition, Vincent Peters: Personal, named after his second book, is a much more intimate display of his art. ‘My job pulls you in all different directions and influences. I wanted to get back to what got me into this, to remind myself why I love photography. I’ve done a kind of “detox”,’ says Peters. ‘I threw everything out that isn’t me and created a “personal” selection.’

To the photographer, this exhibition is a confrontation between what he has done and accomplished so far, and what he loves to do: ‘This is also guiding me now, and helping me to keep my direction. I shoot film, I like real skin and texture.’ The stunning solo display will invite visitors and art lovers to get to know a more intimate side of the photographer.

Viewers at the Leica Gallery will be taken on a breathtaking journey through Vincent Peters’ impressive portfolio that will feature emotive ballet scenes influenced by the great Edgar Degas and eye-catching, powerful celebrity portraits of Hollywood’s most prominent headliners. The exhibition will feature a range of works from fashionably styled images and elegant nudes in minimalist settings to tension-filled hotel scenes and intimate close-up shots—all images will showcase Peters’ use of analogue photography and trademark skilled lighting.

Vincent Peters: Personal will run from 20 January until 18 March 2017 at the Leica Gallery Frankfurt. For more information, visit vincentpetersphotography.com

If you enjoyed reading about Vincent Peters’ celebrity portraits then click here to read about another celebrity photographer, Terry O’Neill, in Arts & Collections International

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