On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, photographer Christian Fuchs holds first LA Exhibit at the Yiwei Gallery with I Am My Family.
Peruvian artist and photographer Christian Fuchs is doing something so remarkably unique, that no other photographer has been able to accomplish in the art world.
I Am My Family
Obsessed with his illustrious German/Chilean ancestors he grew up admiring from their oil paintings and old photographs that were hung in the halls of his grandparent’s home in Peru, Fuchs decided to physically become them, spending months painstakingly recreating their portraits through photography, posing for them himself whether the ancestors were men or women.
In his exhibit, “I AM MY FAMILY”, which is on display for the first time in Los Angeles at the Yiwei Gallery (1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291) through June 19th, Fuchs takes on the role of his ancestors as a way to connect to his family, celebrate them, and help them live on.
Christian Fuchs has been fascinated with his family since a young age living with his grandparents in Lima, Peru. He has memories of writing to his great-grandmother in German who told him stories about her own great-grandmother. This fascination and desire to connect with his family only grew stronger when he was introduced to five generations of family portraits, recalling as a child that he would often speak to them and make up names and personalities for them if he didn’t know who they were. He would watch them for hours and feel that they were watching him back.
After growing up and studying law, he found himself returning to the portraits of his ancestors again and again. In 2012 he began his lifelong project “TRANSGENERATIONAL”, recreating an image of his fourth great-grandmother, Luise Friederike Charlotte Eleonora Chee.
When we look at Fuch’s photographs it is easy to mistake hem as paintings due to their painterly quality and authentic look, but they are in fact digital photographs taken under very bright lighting, which makes his skin look almost porcelain. The photographs are then printed on matt, cotton paper and, as a final touch, displayed in frames which are appropriate to the period in which the original person lived.
The behind-the-scenes process for recreating them is intensive as Fuchs takes it upon himself to completely immerse himself into the person. From their clothes to their jewelry to even their personality, he becomes the person – enlisting costume designers, makeup artists, jewelers, prosthetics, backdrops, and months of research to portray a truly accurate likeness.
By far the most difficult project was recreating “the family’s patriarch”, his great-great-great grandfather Carl Schilling where to become him, Fuchs had to grow a beard – taking more than a year – and when it was finally long enough to be dyed white, he had a sever allergic reaction to the chemicals. But Fuchs knew that the transformation had been a success when on a trip to the bank, he was asked if he wanted to join the special queue for the elderly.
Another one of his ancestors that he recreated was that of his great-great-great-great-great-great-aunt, Dorthea Viehmann born in Kassel, Germany in 1755, who as a daughter of an innkeeper was introduced to the Brothers Grimm, ultimately becoming their muse and a source for their Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales.
Fuchs has recreated over 16 portraits of his ancestors so far and has many more in mind, including Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and William Shakespeare, whom he believes are all distantly related to him and plans to confirm using a genetic genealogy website.
To Fuchs, his work is a labor of love to his ancestors, and he hopes that people feel connected to their own ancestors while viewing his work.
Find The Exhibit Now:
His collection has been featured on display in Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Germany, and can now be viewed in Los Angeles at the Yiwei Gallery (1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291) through June 19th.
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