PARIS — “He knows exactly what he has in the frame. There are no accidents, no surprises.”
So says Eric Pfrunder, image director of Chanel and co-curator of “Karl Lagerfeld, a Visual Journey,” a sprawling and diverse photo exhibition that opens at the Pinacothèque de Paris art gallery here Friday and runs through March 20.
Pfrunder knows better than anyone. In January 1987, when Chanel’s couturier complained to him about the quality of some press-kit photos, Pfrunder dared him do better. “I said to Karl, ‘OK, now you do it,’” he recalled on Thursday during a walk-through of the spare, dimly lit showcase.
Of course, Lagerfeld has never stopped shooting – campaigns, editorials and artistic imagery — always choosing the best location, the best lighting and without any waffling, according to Pfrunder.
“Karl has an eye,” he marveled. “He’s not taking 300 shots. He’s doing five, maybe six. Generally, it’s the first frame that is the best. He’s very fast because he has one vision, and that’s it.”
While Lagerfeld is reluctant to describe his photographic style, Pfrunder cited a storytelling approach, and a distinct “atmosphere” heightened by strong contrast. “When it’s black, he likes it deep black,” he said, pointing to a never-before-seen nude series of
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