Spotlight: Gunnar Hämmerle


Written by Rebecca Griffith
16 Sunday 16th October 2011
Gunnar Hämmerle is a German street-fashion blogger. He started his blog, Style/Clicker in 2006 after discovering a love for photography whilst at film school in Munich. Since then Hämmerle has established himself as one of world’s most renowned figures in the blogosphere, having held exhibitions of his work in the Rocket Gallery in Munich and at the Arles Photography Exhibition in France. After building up such an extensive reputation, Hämmerle has now been asked to exhibit his work at the NRW Forum Düsseldorf in the largest single exhibition dedicated to a fashion blogger. People of the 21st Century, comprises of almost 1,000 photographs from his blog, depicting people from the streets of cities all over the world. His aim is to create a virtual global city without boundaries, formed of life-size photographs of people from all walks of life. Don’t Panic talk to Gunnar about the changing face of fashion, style and his love for shoes.
First of all, can you explain the idea behind Style/Clicker?
It's about interesting people who I spot in the streets. And as the name says, it's about style. Because the way people dress tells a lot about their personality. So I pick people that strike my eye stylewise. But I am not a fashion blogger, I would rather call myself a personality blogger.
How did the blog come into being?
My brother who is a software developer and I thought about new ideas for the internet. Style/Clicker was one of those ideas. I started taking pictures of people in my home city Munich and at first it was just a passionate side project. That was over three and a half years ago. Now it has become my profession. Crazy world!
Can you give us an insight into the world of a street-style blogger?
The best thing is that I am very free in what I do. I am my own boss: photographer, editor, publisher all in one person. I don't have do make any compromises. I just love freedom. It’s great to meet so many amazing people. I always have a good reason to start talking to strangers and ask them for a picture. Travelling a lot isn't too bad, either. And I make my living with what I love to do: photography.
Can you please explain the idea behind your recent exhibition at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, People of the 21st Century?
I see my work as a logical continuation of August Sander's work Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts. We are living in a global, very diverse world. I want to show this diversity of people. Sander worked with classifications: farmers, artists, women, etc. He tried to show prototypes for each class. But today, you cannot tell what occupation someone has or which class he belongs to by his outfit. Some millionaire could look like a bum and a poor guy like a rich person.
At the same time, the photographic approach is very similar to Sander's: I want to show people just how they are. And I don't want anything in the picture to distract from the person in it. There are no other people in the background and my ‘models’ look into the camera lens. Through that, I try to give the spectators a glimpse of the interaction that is happening between me and the people I am photographing.
With your new exhibition, you are trying to create a “virtual city”, would you like to live in a city where everyone is as impeccably styled as the people depicted in your photographs?
I wouldn't say that they are styled impeccably. Human beings can never be impeccable. And that's just fine. Style is a very individual thing, just the contrary of fashion. Somehow, you have to be a bold person trying to find your own style instead of wearing what other people tell you. People doing so are simply very interesting to me. Those are the ones breaking out from the mass trying to go their own way. I believe, they are all rather self-reflective people which is good from my point of view. So yes, I would like to live in a city with people like that.
Keep up with Hämmerle's new work on the Style/Clicker blog, Facebook page and Twitter.
This article was originally featuered 16 August 2010.

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