Christian Schoeler (Hagen, Germany, 1979) is known for his romantic watercolours and oil paintings of young men. His work is concerned with the state of being stranded between boyhood and manhood and an adolescent vulnerability.
Schoeler’s aim in painting is to realize his idea of beauty; a beauty that is fragile and provocative at the same time. Yet in the first instance it is the stark honesty, intimacy and the technical skill with which these paintings have been created that lend them their powerful visual impact.
“Seen up close, the rich rendering of the surfaces of his models' skin is second only to the rich surfaces of the paintings themselves. It’s hard not to get lost in what he describes as the boundary between what is on the inside and what is on the outside."
On the latest Louis Vuitton catwalks, This is a collaboration between Vuitton menswear designer Paul Helbers and young German artist Christian Schoeler.
A fan of 19th century painting, which Schoeler inspires his work from, Helbers offered him to create a tangible bridge between art and fashion. After creating suits earlier this year, the pair moved on to bags: 3 models – 2 large weekender-style bags and one square rucksack– were created in a limited edition, out of pieces specially made on leather by Schoeler.
In the city of the Louvres and the Musée d’Orsay, this could have been a kitschy disaster, to compete with Mona Lisa mugs and Van Gogh knickers. Yet the strict, square shapes of the bags –picked by Schoeler- contrasted with the style of the paintings. These depicted landscapes and different natural sceneries, but from a distant, looked like poetic myopia, a soft blur of paint and cracks.
“These are good for traveling, they remind me of the nomadic life artists often lead. It’s not really about the bag, but about mobile life” said Schoeler about the collaboration. “All artists’ clothes are covered in stains, like an accidental customization”, he continued, “My life is about creativity and that applies to art, but also to fashion.”