Martin Schoeller has been a staff photographer at The New Yorker since 1999.
Martin Schoeller grew up in Germany and was deeply influenced by August Sander’s countless portraits of the poor, the working class and the bourgeoise as well as by Bernd and Hilla Becher, who spawned a school known as the Becher-Schüler.
Schoeller studied photography at Lette Verein in Berlin. He came to New York in 1993 and worked as an assistant for Annie Leibovitz from 1993 to 1996.
“Watching her deal with all of the elements that have to come together—subjects, lighting, production, weather, styling, location—gave me an insight into what it takes to be a portrait photographer,” he explains.
Equally important for Schoeller was the photography of German minimalists Bernd and Hilla Becher, who “inspired me to take a series of pictures, to build a platform that allows you to compare.”
His work appears in Outside Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, and Vogue.
Exhibition 2010-2011 at the National Portrait Gallery in Australia.
A book of his portraits was published by teNeues in 2005: "Close Up: Portraits 1998-2005"
His style is distinguished by similar treatment of all subjects whether they are celebrities or unknown. Schoeller’s portraiture brings viewers eye-to-eye with the well-known and the anonymous leveling them in an inherently democratic fashion.
What is the very nature of the categories we use to compare and contrast?