Alfred Steffen - Pictures, Art, Photography

Alfred Steffen

Background Information about Alfred Steffen


German photographer Alfred Steffen captured portraits of Prince using a hotel suite that he had specially converted into an improvised photography studio. During the session, he asked the singer simple yet direct questions, which the pop icon was to answer in pantomime. "How self-confident are you?", "What does it look like when you waltz?", "Do you believe in true love?" When asked – he danced! The result of this session was a series of precise performative responses from the extraordinary artist. Once again, Prince proved himself to be a terrific performer.

From the beginning, the singer and musician understood how to use the language of dance effectively on stage. His voice and songs defined pop culture milestones, breaking the chains of conventional artistic etiquette. When Prince performed, the masses marveled and shrieked. Conceptualized as a three-phase lenticular portrait, Steffen's work is instrumental in keeping Prince's memory alive. Within one installation, three images are visible – each dependent on a particular angle of sight. As the perspective of the viewer shifts, the singer skillfully changes his pose.

Steffen later employed the technique of animating questions and gestural answers in hundreds of portraits for SZ magazine. This format introduced movement into the often tense and distant atmosphere of the shoot. He captured candid moments and unpredictable reactions of countless celebrities: Geraldine Chaplin, Lenny Kravitz, Daniel Barenboim, and Charlotte Gainsbourg - they all showcased their extroverted selves.

Steffan trained as a photographer at Berlin’s Lette School in the 1980s and later began traveling around Europe as a lifestyle photographer for the innovative Tempo magazine in its heyday. The artist quickly emerged as an internationally respected portrait photographer. And although he temporarily moved his work to New York, Berlin remained a hotspot of changing times and experimental ideas in his eyes. For instance, in the 1990s he photographed hundreds of partygoers at the Love Parade in a large-scale shoot. To this day, Alfred Steffen's work is characterized by its precise sense of the times and prevailing trends.