For Henry Leutwyler, photography is everything. “This is the only thing I like to do and why I wake up in the morning,” he says.
Born in Switzerland in 1961, Leutwyler is a self-taught photographer with a stubborn streak and unflappable love for the medium. “My grandfather and father were both printers. I decided not to follow their path, instead to travel and photograph, soaking up color and culture from around the world.
After being rejected by one of Switzerland’s best photography schools, I opened my own photo studio in Lausanne, photographing cheese, chocolates and watches and went bankrupt in a year-and-a-half.”
In 1985, Leutwyler moved to Paris where he apprenticed with photographer Gilles Tapie and rapidly established himself as an editorial photographer. A decade later, Leutwyler moved to New York City.
Today, Leutwyler’s celebrity portraits can be found in the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Esquire Magazine and Time. He has photographed the likes of Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, Tom Wolfe, Iggy Pop, Rihanna and Martin Scorsese to name a few.
Often spare and unflinchingly tight, Leutwyler’s photographs are a quiet yet striking rebuttal to today’s hyper retouched and uber stylized images. “There’s a whole new vocabulary surrounding photography that I find quite vulgar. For me, it’s not about ‘shooting’ and sensationalism,” he says. “It’s a magic moment that happens in the first few minutes of a sitting. Revealing something from out of my subjects that isn’t obvious — finding the beauty within.”
Leutwyler lives and works in downtown Manhattan, and proud father of two.
National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, GQ Style, The New York Times Magazine, New York, The New Yorker, Self Service, Victory, Out of Order, Beauty Papers, Esquire, Time, Elle, The Wall Street Journal Magazine & Numéro.
2005 Elvis by the Presleys, published by Crown
2010 Neverland Lost, A Portrait of Michael Jackson, published by Steidl
2012 Ballet, Photographs of the New York City Ballet, published by Steidl
2015 Ballet, Photographs of the New York City Ballet, revised edition, published by Steidl
2016 Document, published by Steidl
2020 Hi there!, published by Steidl
2020 Glassworks, The Art of Frederick Birkhill, published by The Artist Book Foundation
2020 Product, Sartorius, published by Steidl
2020 Philipe Halsman, A Photographer's Life, published by Steidl
2021 Misty Copeland by Henry Leutwyler, to be published by Steidl
Gallery Solo Shows
2010 M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, Neverland Lost, USA
2010 Foley Gallery, New York, Neverland Lost, USA
2011 Pobeda Gallery, Moscow, Neverland Lost, Russia
2012 Foley Gallery, New York, Ballet, USA
2013 Spainmedia Gallery, Madrid, Neverland Lost, Spain
2014 Photobastei, Zurich, Neverland Lost & Ballet, Switzerland
2014 Colette, Paris, Neverland Lost, France
2015 Colette, Paris, Fashion Is Nuts, France
2016 Foley Gallery, New York, Document, USA
2017 The Mass Gallery,Tokyo, Neverland Lost & Document, Japan
Group Shows & Installations
2017 Andy Warhol, Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University PA, USA
2018 Arts Bienale, Vevey, Neverland Lost, Switzerland
2018 Arts Bienale, Vevey, Installation, Hi There! Switzerland
2019 Alt. +1000 Photography Festival, Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland
2019 No'Photo, Installation, Hi There, Geneva, Switzerland
2019 "Swiss-Sneaks", Adidas, Mudac, Lausanne, Switzerland
2020 "Swiss-Sneaks", Tell Chapel, Lausanne, Switzerland
Museum Solo Shows
2017 Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland
2019 Stapferhaus, Survey Show, Fotofestival Lenzburg, Switzerland
ASME, ADC, SPD, Graphis, American Photography, James Beard, PDN & D&AD
Portrait © by Sharon Suh