Christian Schoeler


Born 1978, Germany and died in 2015.

Schoeler  Studied  Philosophy and History of Art at the University of Essen in 2002-2003 then Studied at the Munich Academy Of Fine Arts with Prof. Günther Förg from 2003 to 2007. Schoeler died in Cologne in December 2015.

“Masculinity, growing up into a sexualized adult self, and the clash between the natural and the cultural was at the core of Christian Schoeler’s work. Schoeler started by creating a de-temporalized space, both in content and in style. He chose models that were purposely far from contemporary stereotypes of masculine beauty. He then placed them in a non-urban environment, one that the viewer cannot date nor situate, such as the countryside or an intimate space. This choice of scenery is not only a reference to 19th century academic portraiture à la John Singer Sargeant; it is also a symbolic removal of the subject from society. The classical style, far, far from hip contemporary art, as well as the naked surroundings contributed to creating a timeless space, a paradigm about the inner self that might ring true to all males.

The models always seem captured in an intimate moment: rather than an official sit-down portrait, Schoeler captured a moment gone by in a second, that one might miss. In grand oil paintings, or airy watercolours that feel like a breath on a piece of paper, he depicted the frail, transient space between teenage years and adulthood. By depicting a metaphorical secret garden, he encouraged the viewer to focus on one’s inner self, away from a social ‘diktat’.”

Excerpt from “About Gender and Temporality in Christian Schoeler’s work” by Alice Pfeiffer, Paris 2010

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