The photographer, Uli Weber, has built a global reputation on his mastery of two distinct fields: capturing the profound and the profane in a popular culture fixated with celebrity; and revealing the intimate truths of portraiture.
His work has appeared in such synonyms for sophistication as Vogue, Elle and the Sunday Times and such temples to art and craftsmanship as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Saatchi Gallery
Some say the gallery is the natural home for Weber’s work. According to Ivan Shaw, Photography Director of American Vogue, his craftsmanship begs comparison with such masters as Henri Cartier-Bresson and August Sander. The comparison with Sander may result from a shared German sensibility and artistic heritage. But it was in Italy that Weber learned his craft and developed his ability to recognise the dramatic intensity or the absurdist fun in even the most unpromising of subjects.
Having been drawn to the energy of a newly resurgent London, his first magazine cover shot was for the iconic style magazine, Arena and featured Sting in a vivid red Katherine Hamnett fake fur coat. Other prestigious commissions quickly followed and portraiture became his forte with everyone from Stephen Fry to Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Williams to Placido Domingo appearing in his star-studded portfolio.
On one occasion, Weber emerged from behind the camera to himself become the focus of attention, as an interviewee with the Queen of US Media, Oprah Winfrey. That media spotlight intensified in 2010 with the publication of Weber’s book of Portraits. Such was the interest and critical acclaim that a series of exhibitions followed in London, Milan and New York. Whether it was The Times, Der Spiegel, la Repubblica or The Huffington Post, the reviews were unanimous in their appreciation for the work that is both versatile and unique.
Versatile is a word that sits comfortably with Weber. In search of the challenging shot he has challenged himself: parachuting onto the North Pole, trekking the red dunes of Namibia and directing a fashion shoot deep in the baobab forests of south Madagascar
Then, at the invitation of the Earl of March and Kinrara, Weber changed gear again, swapping Kate Moss for Sterling Moss, the catwalk for the cockpit, and Vogue for Vrooom. Over a period of four days in 2012 and 2013 Weber was given access to all areas so that he could capture the true essence of The Goodwood Revival. The result is an expertly curated collection of just over a hundred images.
While he has perfectly chronicled the fun and frivolity, there is also no escaping the silent determination on the faces of the drivers before the starter’s flag comes down, the ordered frenzy of the pit-stop driver change and the exhilaration of victory. And those cars! With the same talent that accentuated the beauty of such sitters as Keira Knightley, Rachel Weisz and Kristin Scott Thomas, Weber has captured the seductive line, form and character of the classic Aston Martin, Maserati and Bugatti. There are also many portraits of the other stars of the Goodwood Revival: the people who come here to celebrate the romance and glamour of those halcyon days of motor sport. From the elaborately posed shot to the poignant unguarded moment, Weber’s eye for reportage photography captures a treasury of magic moments, created here by a master of his craft. [Official Website]
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