Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 7:49 EDT

“FAME”: Michel Comte’s Beijing Debut of Celebrity Portraits

November 2, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Swiss born Michel Comte is one of the most sought after press and fashion photographers in the world today. kunst.licht Gallery Shanghai was proud to present his work in Beijing for the first time ever at White Space of Beijing 22 International Art Plaza .

The exhibition titled FAME brought to Beijing the most intense and significant portraits of women as realized by Michel Comte. Over the course of his thirty year career, Comte has photographed the most important cinema celebrities but also those from fashion, theatre, music and the art world. These photographs document who were, who are and who will be the influential people of our times.

This exhibition has successfully finished in Beijing. It will be held as an Itinerant Exhibition in Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an and Hong Kong within the next 2 months.

Nudes, portraits of models, actresses and artists, amongst some of the most significant that Comte has taken throughout his career, are on show. Amongst others: Verushka, Wallis Montana, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni (the famous nude photographs of the now First Lady of France), Giselle Bundchen, Catherine Deneuve, Isabella Rossellini, Sharon Stone, Halle Berry. Other than these women portraits this show also brings portraits of the creative minds of the famous Maisons de Mode such as Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier as well as celebrated actors such as Jeremy Irons and Anthony Hopkins.

For decades Michel Comte has been shooting protagonists from the world of art, film and entertainment. However, he does not only take photos – perhaps more than any other artist Comte understands the art of capturing the beauty of the moment by choosing the perfect angle and light intensity. Leaving nothing to chance, it is his attention to detail and meticulous approach that creates the enchanting atmosphere underlying his art work.

In this context Comte created his first and nowadays world famous portraits of stars such as Cindy Crawford, Giselle Bundchen, Catherine Deneuve, Mike Tyson und Helena Christensen. His famous print of the naked President’s wife Carla Bruni from the Safer Sex Campaign Comte shot in 1993 was sold in 2008 at a Christie’s auction in New York for 91,000 USD and caused a lot of excitement in the international photo art market.

Having worked in almost every genre of photography, Comte has established an international reputation as a brilliant photographer approaching celebrities in his unique style. His art work reveals his own multi-faceted personality: shy and brave, silent and narrative, superficial and sensitive. He often shows protagonists in unfamiliar surroundings thereby creating images with exceptional expressiveness and new effects. In this way Catherine Deneuve becomes a crime author in a trench coat, and Mike Tyson turns from a tough man into a peaceful human being.

Since 1990, Comte has created most of his art work in private sessions in suite 152 at the Hotel Ritz in Paris where he also shot his most personal portraits; among them French actress Sophie Marceau in 1998, Jeremy Irons and US-artist Jeff Koons. He became friends with a number of these personalities, Sophia Loren and Sting for example, who had been portrayed by Michel Comte regularly over many years. He also accompanied Michael Schumacher for a number of years, shooting him in various situations: moments of triumph, working with the racing team and idyllic family life.

The Artist

Artist Michel Comte was born 1954 in Zurich, Switzerland. The professionally trained art restorer approached photography auto didactically. 1979 Comte received his first international advertising assignment from Karl Lagerfeld for the fashion house of Chloe and moved to Paris.

Work for the American Vogue lead him in 1981 to New York and later on he took residence in Los Angeles. “I have always lived on the edge,” Comte states on his restless persona. “If I no longer have a sense of risk I immediately move on. I probably inherited that from my grandfather.” (Swiss aviation pioneer Alfred Comte.)

Within a few years, Michel Comte evolved into one of the most sought-after fashion and magazine photographers in the world. For Vanity Fair and Vogue, he portrays numerous celebrities from the world of art, movies and entertainment, ranking from Julian Schnabel, Jeremy Irons and Demi Moore to Mike Tyson and Michael Schumacher.

Comte’s advertising clients include famous names such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Nike, Lancome, Revlon, Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz.

In addition to portrait photography and fashion Comte has also increasingly moved towards photo-reportage and documentary. On photo assignments for the international Red Cross as well as his own Michel Comte Water Foundation he has travelled war zones and unstable areas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sudan and Cambodia.


  • 30 Years and 5 Minutes, teNeues, 2009
  • Badenfahrt, AT Verlag, 2008
  • Schumacher, Edition Francaise, SZ Verlag, Munich, 2007
  • Schumacher, The Official Inside Story, SZ Verlag, Munich, 2006
  • Aiko T., Steidl, 2000
  • People and Places with no Name, Steidl, 2000
  • Twenty Years, Schirmer/Mosel, 1999

About kunst.licht Gallery Shanghai

Founded in 2008 by Chinese and German entrepreneurs from the creative industry, kunst.licht Gallery has fast become one of the leading galleries for contemporary fine art photography in China. Born out of love for art, the gallery represents renowned international and national artists working in photography and supports young local talents through its annual nextkunst.licht program.

SOURCE Beijing 22 Management Co. Ltd

Source: PR Newswire