Karl Lagerfeld died on February 19, 2019, leaving behind a legacy as an illustrious figure in international fashion, as well as that of an artist, photographer, designer and draughtsman.
Karl Lagerfled (1933-2019) Autoportrait, 2014, signed gouache on canvas, 100 x 100 cm.
"I was born with a pencil in my hand; I always wanted to draw," said the German designer in a video based on this self-portrait, made in 2014 as a part of a happening organised for Madame Figaro's "Arty" special issue. The magazine had invited him to express himself on a blank canvas. The man, who had drawn since childhood, wishing to be a portraitist or illustrator, but with no specific training, chose himself as his subject. "It was what was easiest; I know myself my heart," as he explained. In a few minutes he produced this idealised vision in gouache on a large scale, which is unusual for this medium. Accustomed to covering entire pages with sketches every day, Lagerfeld expressed himself freely in this work where we find his silhouette with its black suit, black tie, white shirt and white hair. The contrast of black and white was a key feature of his smart, sober style (incidentally borrowed from Coco Chanel), not to mention the trademark dark glasses.