The Old Masters
Sylwia Makris is responsible for the photographic realization of the Old Masters project. The Polish photographer began her artistic career as a sculptor before starting to focus on photography in 2007. Through her intense artworks, which have been published in numerous art and fashion magazines, she soon made a name for herself. Her clients include actors and musicians, but also accomplished models, such as Shaun Ross and Melanie Gaydos. Sylwia’s works have an emotional depth which allows the viewer to experience the atmosphere during capture. “A face always tells more, than it knows,” Makris says. “ Photography is never just a capture of what is. It always communicates what has been, what could have been and also the suffering beneath the surface.”
The Old Masters project aims to utilize the capacity inherent in all of us to change and to reevaluate our point of view. We are therefore very pleased to present this ambitious project of Sylwia Makris.
We would also like to thank the Fashiondesigner Nina Athanasiou for creating and providing the costumes.
Old masters’ paintings that have been newly interpreted for this project continue to exert an influence on all of us. Is it possible to freely rediscover universal beauty – if it even exists? This is the question that marks the beginning and end of the Old Masters project. The works shown strive to tackle this question by emphasizing the need for a critical analysis of the often outlandish and exagerrated ideals of beauty of our present times and our society.
The famous painting “Gabrielle d'Estrées and One of Her Sisters,” for example, was recreated for the project with a breast cancer patient after a mastectomy. Models with Down syndrome impressively recreated other famous paintings used for the project. Other participators include the albino models Shaun Ross and Diandra Forrest, the transgender model Garrison Partusch, the completely tattooed Zombie Boy, Melanie Gaydos, who is suffering from a gene defect, collector of morbidities Ryan Matthews and his wife Regina, New York-based influencers like James Gallagher and Brett David, and the model Elliott Sailors, known for her experimentation with gender roles. Berlin and Munich will be represented by David Baum, chief editor of GQ, actress Nora Tschirner, electro visionary DJ Hell, nightlife veterans Frank Künster, Conny Opper and Liz Paige as well as the artist Vera Kochubey, Tanja Siren, Florentine Joop, Tristan Boettcher, author Hasan Cobanli and the siblings Lucas und Frederike von Cranach.
Over a period of one year the picture’s subjects were explored and chosen in close cooperation with the respecive models, in order for them and their personalities to be represented in the best possible way. It is thus no suprise that the selection ranges from Botticelli’s religious motives to Caravaggio, Lucas von Cranach, Gustav Klimt and Hans Baldung Grien.
Some of the re-created photographies of the old paintings were elaborated and refined by use of gold platings in the style of old icons, brittle varnish or incorporated in hand-studded inlays.