Heinz Schattner has a natural affinity for images. A feeling for images, and a sense of place: his sensitive camerawork translates these two concepts into photographs filled with humanity and beauty that provoke a profound reflection on the authentic meaning of life.
His introduction to photography came early in life – he was just fourteen the first time one of his images was published. But his artistic journey began much earlier with a search for a dimension reflecting a precise image, a place that belonged to him completely, and a style that triumphantly succeeds in distilling a vision of tomorrow.
Born in Germany, Schattner matured artistically in Paris and London, and he has always been in love with Italy, where he currently lives and works. He was introduced to the world of photography as a very young man, when he became an assistant to internationally renowned auteurs,and went on to take his first totally independent steps in the fashion sector. His first important commissions included work for the Italian magazinesVogue Bambiniand Vogue Uomo, followed by many other European periodicals. His professional development led inevitably to becoming artistic director for TV advertising campaigns and publishing books on his work: Thirtynine Souls- Jewels by Angela Pintaldi for Donna Karan, London; and Ateh, published by F. Motta and presented by Tashimaya5th Avenue, in New York.
Looking back, it is clear that fashion was the key to Schattner’s sensual, provocative settings and states of being. He sublimates perfection from the women and men he photographs by highlighting their imperfections, and though he focuses on the subject – be it a person or an object – he never ignores the context, creating snapshots of rare magnificence that time cannot dull.
In Schattner's life and works, travel was, is and always will be the dominant theme. Collaborations with production companies in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City have shaped his life and career, leading him to photograph places and people in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. One work that stands out is an unprecedented publishing project calledWasteland Fashion and Culture, which features photos taken in the interior of Mali. This project led him to form ties with the local Peul, Bambara, Dogon and Tuareg tribes, and allowed them to encounter for the very first time high fashion brands like Richmond, Bikkenbergs and Issey Miyake.
Gifted with an active, imaginative mind, Schattner reveals a constantly evolving personality, never free from a constant yet constructive sense of conflict. The sense of doing or creating is a focus of his passion, a subject he investigates with a fierce enthusiasm and innate sensitivity. This duality fills his works. His photographs are animated by a dreamlike, surreal universe that can inspire in admirers contradictory emotions as intense as those he experienced when he captured the images. His pictures are clear, crisp, sharply delineated – and sometimes shocking. Because of this, they can never leave the observer indifferent. Photography, then, is a work in progress, a constant rebirth, a superimposition of sunset and dawn. A noble vision of past and future, expressed at times through sincerity of black and white, and at other times restored by the poetic alchemy of colour.
© 2019 by HEINZ SCHATTNER PHOTOGRAPHY