19.04.2006 - 30.04.2006
On the occasion of the publication of his recent photobook INTENSE which came out at the end of 2005, the Viennese photographer Mario Schmolka is presenting his work in the first exhibition to be held in his home city. Coming from the area of fashion and beauty photography, Schmolka moves with consummate ease in other styles too. He is a master of staged glamour photos as well as in capturing spontaneous moments and playing with imperfections. This openness to apparent contradictions lends Schmolka’s work a breadth of expression and a particular appeal.
The career of the 30 year-old began at the end of the 1990’s at the College for Photography as an assistant to Andreas Bitesnich. There then followed a two-year stay in Milan where Schmolka quickly became part of the permanent crew of Superstudio 13 working with photographers such as Aldo Fallai, Thomas Schenk, Liz Collins and Michael Wooley assisting with productions for Versace, Moschino, Prada, Etro and Trussardi. In the meantime Schmolka’s portfolio has come to include productions for world-wide brands such as Astor, Chanel, Cartier Jewellery, Douglas, H&M, Rimmel-London, Triumph International and Marc´o Polo. Famous life-style and fashion magazines such as the German Vogue, GQ, GQ Style, Glamour, Deutsch Magazin, Wiener and X-Ray regularly commission work from him.
The show at WestLicht is a selection of photographs that were specially made for the band INTENSE (published in daab Verlag) in just under two years. The works - almost entirely personal - touch on the areas of fashion, beauty and nudes. Perfectly thought-out stagings alternate with obviously spontaneous improvisations in which the motif of suggestion, the incomplete gesture and concealment surface again and again. Schmolka’s work is proof of the close cooperation between photographer and model, based on trust, sensitivity and time. The results, called “intimate portraits” by Schmolka, are intense and mysterious pictures in a fascinating mixture of glamour, eroticism and individuality.