Vanessa von Zitzewitz is internationally recognized for her famous nudes, striking portraits and her outstanding underwater horse images.
She collaborates with several prestigious art galleries, and her work is seen in some of the most important art fairs throughout the world.
MAKING IT ON HER OWN
Vanessa was only 21 years old when she had her first portrait exhibition at The Espace Paul Ricard in Paris and when she published her first book « Ombre Bianche », (Éditions Cercle d'Art).
As a young photographer, Vanessa quickly made her mark. Her first contracts were with well-know luxury brands. She has immortalized film stars, fashion and art luminaries and important political figures.
In 1997, she published Cartier's Untamed as part of an event that celebrated the 150-year anniversary of the French jewelry company. It marked the end of a collaboration that consisted of a series of six books and numerous exhibitions in NYC, Paris, Rome, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
Untamed gives an insight into her personality.
Vanessa's bold mise-en-scene and the daring aesthetic that she created for Cartier and other famous brands propelled her into a closed circle of established photographers.
Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, Mick Jagger, George Clooney, Victoria Beckham, Luciano Pavarotti and Gianni Agnelli have all been the subject of her gaze. Many of her portraits are world famous.
Graff, the high-end jewelry company, contacted her to ask her to become the official photographer of their world-renowned diamonds, a collaboration that included five books and a series of advertising campaigns.
Her travels inspire her to question the world around her. She is sensitive, generous and passionate and is aware that her position and status can be put to the service of others.
Charitable work often involves pomp and circumstance, but Vanessa feels that her art can be engaged for the benefit of helping people.
Her role as photographer to the stars enabled her to put her contact list to good use when she published a book of black and white portraits for the benefit of the Monegasque Red Cross.
Diane Kruger, Luciano Pavarotti, Monica Bellucci, Shirley Bassey, Ringo Starr and many others took part and shared their hopes for the new millennium.
HSH Albert II, Prince of Monaco wrote the preface for the book. Monachrome marked Its bold and daring vision, represented by a naked Carla Bruni on the front cover, encapsulates her professional standing as well as her philanthropic aspirations.
Vanessa was the first woman to become an international ambassador for Canon.
She is always striving for change and her vision is constantly redefined as her life evolves and through her everyday human encounters.
In 2008, Vanessa's focus shifted to a new endeavour when she became a social observer and committed herself to raising awareness. Slaughterhouse Angels gives the West an insight into the daily existence of the children in the Mercy Centre in Bangkok.
The book certainly makes an impact. It portrays the heartbreaking truth about the lives of the slum children, the street survivors, who have escaped misery and are cared for under the protective gaze of Father Joe, the co-founder of the Human Development Foundation and the Mercy Centre community where Vanessa spent numerous weeks every year.
She came across both despair and hope; she knows the background of each of the three hundred children; many of whom are affected by AIDS. She is well aware of their life expectancy. She focuses her lens on their smiles, their games and the background that they have escaped from.
Slaughterhouse Angels is an art documentary photography book. The entire profits of the book and a photographic auction were donated to the Mercy Centre. She raised almost $400,000.
UNESCO recognized Vanessa for this initiative.
ART, PASSION AND DEDICATION
With the blessing of H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar and H. E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, the artist was given the honor of undertaking a series of photographic works that took almost two years to complete and that gave birth to the unprecedented book Horses of Qatar: the legend of Al Shaqab, a 300 pages art book, published by TeNeues.
In October 2009, she had the incredible privilege, as a living artist, to exhibit her work at the Petit Palais national museum in Paris.
"I wouldn't have been able to accomplish this style of photography, it requires a silent complicity with horses," said an impressed Karl Lagerfeld on the opening night.
"It portrays a sense of power that makes us feel as if we are in the presence of sculptures," he added.
Vanessa provided a new perspective. Her series of photographs of Underwater Horses has been viewed around the world.
The spectacular mosaic of 5x7 meters was the centre stage oh the exhibition.
The artist went far and beyond her personal limits in order to achieve her vision. Carrying just her camera, she submerged herself underwater alongside the horses in a bid to capture their magnificent dance-like movements, evoking an atmosphere that is reminiscent of the age-old myth of the unicorn.