Karl Lagerfeld’s latest photography project, ‘The Beauty of Violence’, invites you to look voyeuristically upon the male form in various stages of what is referred to as ‘an erotic seizure’ by the publishers, Steidl.
The book is Karl’s thirtieth as a photographer, a career which began when the designer started shooting Chanel’s press kits and catalogues in 1987. ‘The Beauty of Violence’ is the result of a collaboration between Karl and his current model muse, Baptiste Giabiconi, whose sculptural poses are showcased to perfection. Baptiste’s impressive physique is contrasted with theatrical facial expressions of rage and pain which question the threat of violence in the presence of his beauty.
Karl’s use of light and employment of double exposure techniques present an image that is at once visually arresting but simultaneously highlight the glamorisation of violence in the age of big brother. As the images progress, so does the theme, escalating from violence to erotic pleasure.
In the book’s opening sequence, Karl quotes the Spanish-American poet and novelist George Santayana, who suggested in his title ‘The Sense of Beauty’ that “beauty can also exist in violence.” For all fans of Karl’s wide reaching creative vision, the book is available now from Steidl priced at £30.