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​Swiss artist Hannes Schmid is most sought after for his extraordinary photo-essays. Born in 1946 to Swiss parents, he was trained as an electrician, but found his true calling in photography while travelling on a work trip in South Africa. Largely self-taught, yet a consummate master of the medium, his decades-spanning works are sans pareil unconventional and recognized in various genres of photography.


Photography is Hannes’s way of bearing witness to his curious eye and unwavering determination to seek out the truth. Some of his most recognized works include the iconic Marlboro Man, Rockstars, For Gods Only, and Human Currents which have been exhibited at various galleries and museums. In recent years, he has delved into a variety of art forms to create a provocative body of work, which includes transforming his Marlboro Man onto the canvas and a social sculpture, taking place in Cambodia.


Despite having earned various nominations and awards (including an Honorary Doctorate bestowed on Hannes by the University of Zurich), Hannes belongs to a category of artists that goes beyond the confines of traditional photography. The larger part of his archive now sits in his atelier, waiting to be discovered.



  • Prix Courage 2018 "Lifetime Award"

  • Genex Human Focus Award

  • Honorary Doctorate by the University of Zurich


  • Jonas Furrer Preis



  • Dübi Award 2015, Fine Arts



  • Delphic Art Movie Award. Special prize “Protection of Intangible Heritage” for the film For Gods Only



  • Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, selected by Jay Sanders



  • Patronage of UNESCO Switzerland for For Gods Only



  • LIFE Magazine, Best Fashion Picture of the Year



  • Elle. France, Best Fashion Photographer

  • Private Basler Stiftung 

  • Fachstelle Kultur des Kantons Zürich (Culture Agency of the Canton of Zurich)

  • Fotostiftung Schweiz (Swiss Foundation for Photography), Winterthur

  • Julius Baer Art Collection, Zurich

  • Museum Folkwang, Essen

  • Collection Rainer-Marc Frey, Zurich

  • Collection Per Gunnar Strømberg Rasmussen, Bergen, Norway



Smiling Gecko, charitable project in Cambodia





Realizing the Cowboy series in oil on canvas


The Bonneville Project: "Bonneville The Final Run". Formula 1 Cinema film and photography


1998- 2011
For Gods Only

Chinese ritual street opera in Singapore with blended photography and calligraphy (today under the patronage of UNESCO Switzerland/United Nations)


1998- 2008
Charity projects/campaigns for the Swiss Paraplegic Association & Pro Infirmis, Switzerland


Re-creation of the Marlboro Man for Leo Burnett/Phillip Morris (some of these images were 
later used by Richard Prince in his Cowboy series)


Private Essays on Daytona’s bike week, the life of Belize Mennonites, the widows of 
Potosi in Bolivia, Maha Kumbh Mela in India (The Flow of Life), Thaipusam in Singapore, etc.


Fashion photography for magazines and fashion designer labels; 
Best Fashion Photographer in 1988. Live Magazine Best Picture of the Year in 1992


Behind-the-scenes of Rock’n’Roll Stars: Band Portraits, backstage, private and live performance images. Accompanied Bands on tour from A like ABBA to Z like Zappa.


Travelled through South East Asia, Sumatra, Borneo, China, India, Tibet etc. and to the Dani & Lani tribes in Irian Jaya, Indonesia


Travelled through Africa. Photographed landscapes and portraits of inhabitants like the El Molos on Lake Turkana. Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt etc.


Vogue, Men's Vogue, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Depèche Mode, Marie Claire, Donna, Harper’s Bazaar, DU, Stern, Das Magazin (Tages Anzeiger Zurich), Condé Nast Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Max, Amica, Gala, Pop, Musik Express, et al



Armani, Bally, Joop, Kenzo, Levis, Sisley, Swatch, et al

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