The photographer Henry Leutwyler is careful with the things he’s been given. That includes both his talent and his subjects, who seem almost buoyed by his care and skill, even as they are exposed. Leutwyler does in moments what everyone wants to do all the time: he shows people their best selves. And since we’re all beautiful, and full of singular magic at our deepest, the images he creates have an inexhaustible allure. There is no end to them.
Now you might say you could take a photo of the ballerina Misty Copeland that would be, as Nat King Cole sang, unforgettable too. And in fact you may accidentally have something in common with Leutwyler’s style: a lack of superficiality. But even the radiant Copeland needs the unfussy, tight, structural quality of Leutwyler’s photos to appear as vital in a photograph as she does in real life. Sometimes its having one’s own story, with trials and tribulations, that allows the artist to see into others–especially through the shell of celebrity that many of Leutwyler’s subjects wear for protection. Here is how he describes his professional beginnings on his own site: “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.” You have to understand what can happen in order to appreciate what you have in front of you at the moment. From the indelible results, it seems Leutwyler appreciates what’s in front of him an awful lot. And he’s a good sharer, too.
Misty Copeland and Henry Leutwyler
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