The HAMBURG HEROES series, which had a very successful start last year with the exhibition DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT by the photographer Peter Bialobrzeski, will continue this summer with the photographer Walter Schels (*1936) in the House of Photography at the Deichtorhallen from 19 July to 3 October 2019.

For more than 50 years, Schels has engaged like almost no other photographer of his generation with extreme situations of human life. This exceptional photographer has explored the margins of existence for many of his projects: his series and long-term projects focus on birth as well as dying. In the style of a traditional studio photographer, he depicts people with disabilities as well as famous personalities in front of a usually neutral, often dark background. He removes the figure from its environment and focuses on the body as well as the facial expressions of his subjects. His photography has earned him a reputation as a thoughtful existentialist within contemporary portrait photography.

Curated by Ingo Taubhorn, the exhibition Life will present some of Schel’s best-known series and supplement them with new works that depict and visually reflect human existence in its many forms. Among them will be the never-before-shown series Transsexual, in which Walter Schels shows the development of young people from the time of their first hormone treatment to their completed gender reassignment.

About the Photographer
Born in 1936 in Landshut, Walter Schels initially worked as a window dresser in Barcelona, ​​Canada, and Geneva before beginning his photography career in 1966 in New York. In 1970 he opened his own studio in Munich and worked for magazines such as Stern and Eltern. He has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medal from the Art Directors Club für Deutschland, the Hansel Mieth Prize, and a World Press Photo Award in 2004. Walter Schels is a member of the Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg and an honorary member of the Berufsverband Freie Fotografen und Filmgestalter e.V. He lives and works in Hamburg.

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