Klaus Enrique is a Mexican-German post-contemporary sculptor and photographer who employs Arcimboldism as his means of expression. He studied genetics at the University of Nottingham, England, and received an MBA from Columbia Business School in the City of New York. Enrique was a freelance SAP consultant before he turned to photography, which he studied at Parsons and at the School of Visual Arts.
In his series “Arcimboldo” Enrique meticulously arranges organic materials to form facial portraits that pay homage to the works of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who was a 16th century Italian artist, painting human forms composed of fruits and vegetables. At first glance Enrique’s works appear as if they were digitally created, but each portrait is an actual photograph of a sculpture made of fruits, vegetables, insects and so on. The idea arose during a photoshoot, when he captured a face made of leaves, recognizing how similar it was to Arcimboldo’s work. After some further research the photographer quickly identified that Arcimboldo had not been the first artist to create a composite head, explaining that “Anthropomorphism is as old as mankind itself”.
His stunning portraits have been displayed alongside those of Andy Warhol, Paul Cezanne, and Francisco Goya, having earned him remarkable recognition in the world of art. For more check out his website www.klausenrique.com and the interview below.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Hopefully at 40 it takes more than one sentence to describe me.
Whom do you look up to?
A lot of people! As far as visual artists are concerned I would say: Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, H.R. Giger, Zdislaw Beksinski…
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
A lot of patrons have helped me: Peter Norton, Simon Blakey, Nicholas Roach, Brian Altenburg, Bob Posner, Brett Ross, Robert Clauser, Jessica Packer and many more…
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
As an artist, I would say Francis Bacon, and in my way of thinking, Ayn Rand.
How did your photographic career start? What made you want to be a photographer?
I have pursued various careers: as a geneticist, IT consultant, investment banker, and none of them made me happy. Making art makes me happy.
What was your favorite project and why?
The Arcimboldism pieces that I have been working on lately. They are the most challenging and rewarding.
How do you define creativity?
I think creativity is recombining all the knowledge you have acquired and using it to give rise to something new.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
There are very high barriers to entry to becoming an artist. Have a plan on how you will overcome them.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
Paying the rent on time.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Quite a lot of things: That if you don’t know who you are, you have no chance of figuring out what will make you happy. For me happiness is the pursuit of your purpose. That there are three fundamental values: Truth, Love, and Life. Without those, you are fucked! Truth without Love is no Truth. And without Life there is nothing…
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
Not sure…maybe being a dad. But I am trying to become a dad without having to give up my art.