Christian SchoelerBorn 1976 in Hagen, Germany
Died 2015 in Cologne, Germany
Ecstasy and loss. Who better to describe the ambivalence between the creative process and the finished works of Christian Schoeler’s oeuvre than the painter himself? It all begins with the un-restrained, ecstatic, and virtuoso process – when the turpentine added to the paint becomes flesh and blood.
Nothing happens by chance, in every brush stroke is an intention of the artist. In the end, however, what comes into being reflects the utmost sensitivity.
Christian Schoeler reinterpreted portraiture
Born of this process, intimacy, vulnerability, and loss are the subject matter of his paintings. With his reinterpretation of portraiture, Christian Schoeler has created an entirely new genre.
This is his legacy to the world, of which so much still remains to be discovered and fathomed. With his untimely death in December 2015, Christian Schoeler left behind a formidable and unique body of work, powerful in its imagery.
Schoeler as mirror between him and his models
The Artist The world of his images, haunting and fragile, attests to both profound conflict and a pleasure in experimentation with technique. His paintings reflect an intense relationship between the observers and the model.
The artist himself regarded them as a mirror between him and his models. Christian Schoeler’s broad talents stretched far beyond the boundaries of visual art. In his explorations of other creative fields, he sought interdisciplinary exchange, building bridges and making art itself tangible.
Collaboration between Schoeler and Louis Vuitton caught attention
This was certainly the case in his 2010 collaboration with Louis Vuitton’s designer Paul Helbers, a merging of art and fashion design. Helbers, fascinated by 19th-century painting - which was also a source of inspiration for Christian Schoeler - invited the artist to paint suits and leather bags from Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection.
These unique pieces, a symbiosis between army-style and romantic landscape painting, were the center of attention on Louis Vuitton’s runways.
Living without painting was not an option
In 2013, at the height of his creativity, Schoeler lost his ability to paint, due to a serious illness from which he never fully recovered. Two and a half years later, this sensitive and most extraordinary of artists decided against a life without painting; he died in December 2015 at the age of 39.
Schoeler`s work inspires beyond his death
And he would not have been Christian Schoeler had he not, even at the end of his life, maintained a clear vision of how his life’s work would continue, touching and inspiring people even after his death.