Born in Lissa, Germany in 1944, Peter Lindbergh is aportrait and fashion photographer known for his highly cinematic images.Inspired by the work of van Gogh, Lindbergh moved to Arlesfor close to a year, after which he spent time hitchhiking across Europe andNorth Africa. Lindbergh studied free painting at the College of Art in Krefeldwhere he was invited, in 1969, to exhibit his work at the renowned avant-gardeGalerie Denise René – Hans Mayer. Moving to Düsseldorf in 1971, Lindbergh beganto focus on photography as his primary artform, and studied for two years underphotographer Hans Lux until 1973, at which point he opened his own studio.
A pioneer in photography, Lindbergh’s humanist approach andidealisation of women is well known, and his portraits focus more heavily onthe personality than soul than the excessively retouched facades promoted bysome contemporaries. Lindbergh drastically altered the standards of the fashionphotography in times of excessive retouching, encouraging his fellowphotographers to focus on what made a subject interesting, rather than age. Onthe matter, Lindbergh had this to say: “This should be the responsibility of photographers today tofree women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.” Lindbergh gave littlethought to what a subject was wearing, stating that “If you take out thefashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person.” Lindberghphotographed the raw soul of his subjects, showing the humanity beneath theimpassively divine faces of celebrities and superstars, documenting their fearsand dreams, making them tangible to a wider audience, not some unattainablegoal. Lindbergh’sstorytelling in his fashion work, unheard of at the time, brought a newperception of art and fashion photography. In 1988, Lindbergh found global,widespread acclaim by showing a group of up-and-coming models, the careers ofwhom were launched by Lindbergh, all in white shirts.
A year later, in 1989,Lindbergh became the first person to photograph such household names as NaomiCampbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and CindyCrawford – at the time unheard of – for his legendary January 1990 cover of theBritish edition of Vogue. It was this Vogue cover that inspired George Michaelto create the iconic music video for his song ‘Freedom! ’90’, in which severalmodels lip-synced the lyrics in Michael’s place.In May 2016, the well-known and highly prestigious magazineArt Forum published an interview with Lindbergh, in which he took the time tostate his deeply held belief that: “…a fashionphotographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary womanor man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality.
Howsurrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and ofexperience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?”Peter Lindbergh is best known for his simple yet revealingportraits, influenced by the urban surroundings of his childhood, dance andcabarets. Lindbergh has worked with some of the most famous fashion brands andmagazines, including international editions of Vogue, The New Yorker, RollingStone, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal Magazine, and W. In 2016, Lindbergh dida record third photoshoot for the pirelli calendar. His work is part of thepermanent collections of many Fine Arts museums around the world, also beingshown in hundreds of award-winning and prestigious art galleries and museums,including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London) and the Centre Pompidou(Paris). Most recently, Lindbergh took part in the exhibition ‘AlbertoGiacometti Beyond Bronze’ presented at the Kunsthau, Zurich, which was followedby ‘Shadow And Substance’ at the Gagosian Gallery, London.Lindbergh photographs always in black and white.
This causescolour to cease being a distraction from the emotion of an image, increasingthe impact of a tear or smile on the viewer. Black and white photography allowsthe viewer to pick up on the minutest of visual cues given by a subject toconvey emotion, cues that would be otherwise lost in a mess of colour.