• Photo exhibition Hannes Schmid

Photo exhibition 2024

Hannes Schmid
rock musician




Thursday, May 9, 2024, 14.00
Friday, May 10, 2024, 14.00

Rock musician

Hannes Schmid's journey into the world of rock and pop photography was triggered by a Status Quo concert at the end of the 70s. Over 250 acts are captured through his lens, providing deep insights into these stars' cultural rituals and lifestyles. Unlike traditional rock photographers who limit themselves to pure images of the stars, Schmid integrates the element of theatricality into his shots and creates a mixture of admiration and distance.

His photographs reveal gender roles and sexual identities by juxtaposing machismo with androgynous flourishes and capturing subtle gender narratives in characters like Rob Halford and Nina Hagen. Furthermore, his lens delves into fan cultures that display devotion similar to a religious cult, reflecting divided attention and group boundaries, an everyday ritual practice among fans.

Schmid's work coincides with a crucial era in music - the transition from disco to punk and new wave, which witnessed changes in the style and image of bands. Despite technological advances and the emergence of music videos, he observes these developments without bias and documents the changing aesthetics and visual culture of the time.

From the mid-80s, Schmid switched from music to fashion and advertising photography. Nevertheless, his interest in social groups and their aesthetics remains. His method, comparable to an ethnographic eye, continues to inform his work in various fields, subtly reflecting the poses and styles of rock and pop stars even in unexpected contexts such as the Pro Infirmis project.

At its core, Schmid's lens offers more than just simple snapshots of stars; she captures the essence of cultural shifts, gender dynamics and fan enthusiasm - all through a nuanced, attentive and ethnographically influenced perspective.

Hannes Schmid

portrait hannes schmid

Hannes Schmid (born October 13, 1946 in Zurich) is a Swiss photographic artist. He lives and works in Zurich, is married and has a daughter and a son.

Hannes Schmid's early career took him to South Africa in 1970 as a trained electrician, where he learned the craft of photography self-taught at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town. From 1970 to 1974 he traveled through the African continent and captured his impressions of the country and its people in travel reports, landscape photos and portraits using analogue photography on celluloid. Hannes Schmid has remained faithful to this technique to this day. After his return to Switzerland, extensive photographic travels through Asia followed from 1974 to 1977. During this time he developed a characteristic visual language that is characterized by his always personal and emotional connection to the object. Between 1978 and 1984, Hannes Schmid accompanied over 250 rock bands and their stars - from A for ABBA to Z for Zappa - on their worldwide tours as a photographer. A selection of his over 70 photos from that time are recorded as contemporary witnesses in the publication Hannes Schmid – Rockstars, among others.

In the 80s and 90s of the last century, Hannes Schmid made a name for himself as an advertising and fashion photographer. His pictures have appeared in well-known publications (including Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, Condé Nast Traveller), his work has received awards such as Best Picture of the Year (Life Magazine, 1992) and Hannes Schmid himself was honored as Best Fashion Photographer (1988). One of his most widespread works is the new production of The Marlboro Man for Leo Burnett/Philip Morris. The cowboy, iconically staged by Hannes Schmid, became a symbol of freedom worldwide and was later incorporated into conceptual art - and was later reinterpreted by Hannes Schmid in photorealistic painting on canvas. The years of photographic support for the Camel Trophy and freelance photo projects in, for example, Honduras, Bolivia, India and Singapore have contributed to Hannes Schmid's extensive portfolio to this day.

In addition to commercial commissions, Hannes Schmid repeatedly realized highly acclaimed art projects such as For Gods Only, The Flow of Life, Thaipusam and Moment of a Moment in the late 20th and new 21st centuries. In parallel to his photographic work and photorealistic painting, Hannes Schmid also took on creative work using the media of film and installation. Hannes Schmid conceived and directed the film Bonneville – The Final Run, and in his solo exhibition Momentous at the Today Art Museum in Beijing he impressively merged photography and object art. To date, his collected works have been exhibited in numerous museums, including the Fotostiftung Schweiz (Winterthur), the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Folkwang Museum Essen, the Rubin Museum of Art New York, the Brooklyn Museum (New York) and the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Art in Leipzig.

Since 2012, Hannes Schmid has been involved in charitable work in the Smiling Gecko Foundation, which he co-founded, and with his own aid projects for the less well-off population in Cambodia. In April 2018, the Vetsuisse Faculty at the University of Zurich awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his exemplary commitment to families from the slums of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Main sponsors

photo video zumstein


Resident community of Münsingen
fotoclub münsingen
swisslos cultural funding for the canton of Bern