Martin Schoeller’s “Close Up” Brings You Intimately Close With Both Celebrities and Ordinary People

Even though you might not recognize his name, you’re definitely familiar with Martin Schoeller’s work. All those super high def, close up portraits of celebrities, politicians, and other iconic figures that frequently appear on the cover of TIME, New York, and others? That’s Schoeller. He’s been creating portraits in his signature “close up” style for more than a decade now, getting intimately personal with his subjects in a way most photographers are too afraid to do.

Close Up, presented by Mediastorm, is a series that highlights all of Schoeller’s most iconic portraits (Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt) and splices them together alongside pictures of average people. The juxtaposition of famous faces and nobodies creates an interesting window into how we interpret intimacy. We think we know celebrities. They’re in the news every day and blanket our magazine covers, but as you peer into the eyes of, say, Jack Nicolson or Britney Spears–both their faces raw and imperfect–it reveals how much we little know.

Our tendency to want to know them on a personal level is no different than the people we pass on the street or while riding the bus or drinking coffee at a cafe. Close Up captures our shakey understanding of intimacy and shows how little we truly know.

Editor’s note: We personally find the music in the video annoying. Take our advice and unplug your earphones before you press play.

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Posted in: Art, Video
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