Thephotographer, Uli Weber, has built a global reputation on his masteryof two distinct fields: capturing the profound and the profane in a popularculture fixated with celebrity; and revealing the intimate truths ofportraiture.
His work has appeared in suchsynonyms for sophistication as Vogue, Elle and GQ and such temples to artand craftsmanship as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Saatchi Gallery.
Some say the gallery is the naturalhome for Weber's work. According to Ivan Shaw, former PhotographyDirector of American Vogue, his craftsmanship begs comparison withsuch masters as Henri Cartier-Bresson and August Sander. Thecomparison with Sander may result from a shared German sensibility and artisticheritage. But it was in Italy that Weber learned his craft and developedhis ability to recognise the dramatic intensity or the absurdist funin even the most unpromising of subjects.
Having then been drawn to theenergy of a newly resurgent London, his first magazine cover shot was for theiconic style magazine, Arena and featured Sting in a vivid redKatherine Hamnett fake fur coat. Other prestigious commissionsquickly followed and portraiture became his forte with everyone from Eddie Redmayne to Rachel Weisz, JeremyIrons to Placido Domingo appearing in his star-studdedportfolio.
On one occasion, Weber emerged frombehind the camera to himself become the focus of attention, as aninterviewee with the Queen of US Media, Oprah Winfrey. That mediaspotlight intensified in 2010 with the publication of Weber's bookof Portraits. Such was the interest and critical acclaim that aseries of exhibitions followed in London, Milan and New York. Whether it was The Times, Der Spiegel, la Repubblica or The Huffington Post, thereviews were unanimous in their appreciation for the work that is bothversatile and unique.
Then, at the invitation of The Dukeof Richmond, Weber changed gear again, swapping Kate Moss for Sterling Moss,the catwalk for the cockpit, and Vogue for Vrooom. Over a period of fourdays Weber was given access to all areas of The Goodwood Revival.That he could capture the true essence of the event for his award-winning book'Goodwood Revival', which was later exhibited in London and Italy.
Now comes what Weber regards ashis most prestigious assignment yet: ‘In The Company of Horses’ To be publishedby Assouline this autumn, it explores the myriad roles the horseplays in our sporting, working, social and cultural lives.
Anyone who is familiar with his work in the rarefied realms of high fashion will be amazed at how accomplished Weber is at capturing the sheer physicality of the sporting life… From Flat Season favourites to mud splattered, shaggy Shire Horses working the farms and furrows of rural England. Weber has sought out not just theglamour and the glitz of the Sport of Kings and aristocrats but also the steaming reality of the working horse's life.
What's more,whether it is his depiction of the top-hatted, thoroughbred fillies as theyride, side-saddle across the fields. Or it might be in the determinedstare on the chiseled faces of the jockeys as they try to think only of thewinners’ enclosure – and not the possibility of the tumble that waits at everyrace.
This is a book not just about dramaticmoments but also defines the mysterious, symbiotic and ancientrelationship between man and beast; horse and rider.