THe Museum The Kennedys Opens BEHIND THE MASK – Portraits by Martin Schoeller

The Museum The Kennedys presents BEHIND THE MASK – Portraits by Martin Schoeller. Exhibition on view July 06 – July 31, 2011.

With the beginning of the SHOWROOM DAYS BERLIN, the Museum THE KENNEDYS will temporarily turn into a photographic catwalk for trendsetters, style icons as well as fashion rebels of the international fashion world. The exhibition “Behind the Mask” shows one of the most fascinating portrait series of the last couple of years worldwide.

Whether pop stars, athletes, actors, or politicians: It is the people from the public sphere who influence the public opinion and create a socially acceptable consensus out of short-lived lifestyle trends. Not only do they perfectly master the art of self-representation in the media – the high society also creates an impression of all-encompassing perfection and flawless beauty. In combination with their omnipresence in the media, public figures thus appear as inaccessible, seemingly surreal figures. To break through this masquerade and to present the person behind it is the self-proclaimed goal of internationally renowned photographer Martin Schoeller.

For many years, Martin Schoeller has been portraying international celebrities in a unique and incomparable form and visual language, presenting their individual personalities and underlining their distinctive characteristics. Just like in a trusting relationship, the portrayed individuals accept the photographer’s rules which are responsible for his unique style. These rules, for example, include the minimal utilization of make-up as well as doing without a subsequent touch-up. Schoeller deprives the stars in front of the camera of the instruments of self-representation and purposeful image-creation, resulting in a vulnerable, mask-less impression, easier to read for the observer, almost comparable to a face study.

True to the motto of the SHOWROOM DAYS BERLIN “We are not afraid…”, Hollywood-Stars such as Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, politicians such as Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, soccer icons Franz Beckenbauer and Jürgen Klinsmann, pop-idols such as Katy Perry and even it-girl Paris Hilton show that they are not afraid of “opening up” for Martin Schoeller and his camera. With the special exhibition “Behind the Mask – Portraits by Martin Schoeller”, the museum THE KENNEDYS shows a selection of fascinating portraits from the CAMERA WORK AG portfolio. Many of the pictures stem from Schoeller’s famous series “Close Up”, which has appeared both in monographs as well as magazines. While looking at the pictures, the viewer is challenged to question topics such as self-representation as well as the impressive explanatory power of portrait photography. Furthermore, the portrayed provoke the observer to compare the individuals’ appearance as communicated through the media with the viewer’s own impressions and experiences.

The Museum THE KENNEDYS offers a guided tour of the special exhibition on Saturday, July 9, 2011, at 3 p.m. In the context of the weekly “Students for the Kennedys”-tours you do not only get to know the portrayed individuals a little better – you will also acquire some exciting background information on the special conditions on the set, the specific visual language as well as the overall work created by Martin Schoeller. The tour is included in the admission price.

Image: Paris Hilton. © Martin Schoeller.

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