Up until the late 60s Lothar Wolleh was one of Germany's most successful commercial photographers. Then he gave it all up.
At the suggestion of a friend, Lothar Wolleh began to create portraits of renowned artists. Until his death in 1979, Wolleh worked on a total of 109 artist portraits. These included: Rene’ Magritte, Henry Moore, Joseph Beuys, Lucio Fontana, Christo and Man Ray.
These portraits formed the core of Wolleh’s photographic achievement. Very often rigorously symmetrical, Wolleh placed the artist at the very centre of the portrait and removed him/her from the studio.
Wolleh also invited the artists to intervene on the portraits he’d taken of them. For this purpose, the photographs were usually transferred to photographic canvas and in this way, a unique symbiosis of art and artistic photography was created.
Either way, whether pre or post intervention, Wolleh’s artist portraits are worth many a glance. I think my favourite one is Christo’s (the one taken with the fisheye lense) but I’m not too sure yet. Which one’s yours?
Find out more about Lothar Walleh on www.lothar-wolleh.de.