Presenting people as they are without stripping them down is the secret to success for Germany’s most famous portrait photographer. With a real feel for people and an intuitive appreciation of light, GABO has also established herself on the international scene. Over the last three decades, she has become a leading figure in an industry dominated by males and, in doing so, has brought new impulses to her trade.
Influenced by her own personal experiences as a photo model, she decided to take the camera into her own hands in the mid-1980s. Adopting the pseudonym GABO, she set out to be better than her male colleagues, many of whom had been far from respectful during their photo shoots. She offers a distinctively feminine alternative to the dominant male perspective, especially when it comes to women’s bodies.
Her major breakthrough came in 1986 in the form of a photo series of German musician Herbert Grönemeyer and cover page for Stern magazine. She followed up with countless portraits of famous musicians, entertainers, politicians, and public figures. For many years, GABO was the go-to photographer for the German band “Die Toten Hosen”, and she is credited with many of their album covers.
GABO loves to create scenes, and finds studios too sterile. Her favourite subjects, the photographer says, are women. The series Amazons makes this clear; the photographer is in her element. The setting for these expressive images is a castle. GABO presents the strong personalities of the models – sometimes they are aloof and statuesque, sometimes playful and frivolous. Stark contrasts between light and shadow create a unique sense of drama and lend the images a special charm.
Born in Hamburg in 1961, GABO is one of Germany’s most successful portrait artists. After a career as a model and studies in graphic design, she has worked as a photographer for the last three decades. Her subjects have included Yoko Ono and Angelina Jolie, and a veritable Who’s Who of German personalities including Herbert Grönemeyer, Helmut Schmidt, Hannelore Elsner, Udo Jürgens, and Nina Hagen. In 2007, GABO presented her work in a giant solo exhibition in Cannes.
|2006||Mid-life retrospectives at Gallery Camera Work, Hamburg, and Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna|
|Akademie der bilden Künste, Wien|