Christian von Alvensleben
Christian von Alvensleben (born 1941 in Munich) is a German photographer.
Christian von Alvensleben is the son of Anna Caroline von Alvensleben, cousin of Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort. His daughter, Vera Gottliebe Anna Gräfin von Lehndorff, is the famous model Veruschka von Lehndorff and cousin to Christian von Alvensleben.Christian von Alvensleben has two sons from his divorced marriage to the American Cathrin Kimbel. He now works and lives close to Hamburg together with his wife Helga.
Life and work
Christian von Alvensleben took his first photos with a Kodak box camera from a US care parcel when he was 11. These were followed by photos for the school newspaper. As an 18 year old schoolboy he travelled to France in order to improve his language skills in preparation for his school-leaving examinations. In Montjustin in Provence he met the young German author Hubert Fichte. The photos taken on that one day were exhibited in the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg in 2005 and are now part of the Hubert-Fichte Foundation.
In 1962 he travelled to Mozambique where he stayed with the brother of his mother his uncle Werner von Alvensleben (Author Brian Marsh: 'Baron in Africa'), he took photographs of big game and the respective hunters. The work titled ‘Die Spur des Leoparden / Kaliber .378’ was shown at the Photokina exhibition in 1993. He attended the London Polytechnic from 1964 onwards. After this he became assistant to the photographer Karl-Heinz von Ludwig/Ali Khan in Munich. Since 1968 he has been working as a freelance photographer with his own studio in Hamburg. The pictures for the social democrat party’s print media advertisements for the election campaign were among his first major works. His photograph ‘Der Sonnenschein’ of a nude lady with a full figure and a sunshade on the beach for an advertisement for the film manufacturer Fujifilm became world famous in 1972. Time devoted a whole page to the photo, and today the motif is one of the ‘Bilder im Kopf’ (Images in the mind’s eye) (Deutsches Presse-Museum, Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum).
This was followed by international editorials and advertising productions in architecture, interior design, fashion, beauty, food, people, still-life and transportation.
Christian von Alvensleben portrays industrial managers, actors, sportsmen and women, musicians, politicians, fashion designers and TV stars. In addition to numerous photo illustrations for the books of chefs and bon vivants such as Alfons Schuhbeck, Alfred Biolek, Christiane Herzog, Bruno Bruni and ‘Food in Vogue’ / Condé Nast, Christian von Alvensleben created a work in 1992 entitled the ‘Apocalyptic Menu’ for which he received several renowned prizes. Many of his almost always avant-garde works appear in magazines including Architektur & Wohnen, Dance Magazine N.Y., Der Feinschmecker, FAZ, GEO, MAX, Merian, Der Spiegel, Stern, Vanity Fair US, Vogue Braut, Vogue Casa, Vogue Deutsch, Vogue Pelle, Die Zeit.
The editorial team of ‘Der Feinschmecker’ nominated Christian von Alvensleben as a ‘Hall of Fame Member’ in commemoration of its 30th anniversary; Designers Digest awarded him the title ‘(Photo) Designer of the Year’ in 2002 and ‘novum’ reports that Christian von Alvensleben is one of the most constant dimensions in German photo design and one of the most universal. In 2005 a work already awarded a prize by the Art Directors Club (ADC) was nominated for the 2006 Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In over 35 years of photographic work, the ADC alone has given over 80 awards to Christian von Alvensleben for individual works, including several gold medals and even the Grand Prix in 1993, something very unusual for a photographer. In 2009 the ADC gave him a Lifetime Achievement award. His competence is often highly esteemed in juries. Since 2006 Christian von Alvensleben has been working exclusively on his own photography projects.
- Art Directors Club (ADC), 28 years
- Bund Freischaffender Foto-Designer (BFF) and honorary member since 2009
- Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV), 35 years
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh), vocation 1984, leaving 2004
Reinhart Wolf Stiftung council since 1994.
- Katalog: S.Fischer Verlag, Hubert Fichte und Leonore Mau ISBN 3-10-069905-X
- Katalog: Christian Brandstätter Verlagsgesellschaft m. H. ‘Die Spur des Leoparden’ ISBN 3-85447-457-1
- Time Magazine Monday August 7th, 1972: ‘Fat but nice’
- Exhibition Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum June, 10th 2006 – July, 16th 2006
- Der Feinschmecker, Issue No. 10/2005
- Designers Digest, Issue No. 81
- novum, Issue No. 05/03
- ADC Deutschland Jahrbuch 1971-1981, 1983-1988, 1990-2004, 2006
- http://www.adc.de/club/mitglieder/lebenswerk.html ADC Lifetime Achievement
- Art Directors Club Germany, Bund Freischaffender Foto-Designer, Reinhart Wolf Stiftung