Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Inspiration : The Life Ball Style Bible, 2015

-By Dan dos Santos

The Life Ball in Vienna is one of the largest and most spectacular charity events in the world. The event, which is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting research of HIV and AIDS, has become an amazing spectacle of performance art, and a costumed gala.

To help promote the Gala, Life Ball issues a 'Style Bible' every year, showcasing that year's 'theme'. Attendees are encouraged to follow the dress code set by this 'Style Bible'.

This year, Life Ball commissioned Austrian photographer Inge Prader spearhead a massive photoshoot recreating the works of the esteemed Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt.

With the help of 50 team members, consisting of make up artists, wardrobe stylists, body painters and set designers, Prader managed to create some truly spectacular homages to to the paintings of Gustav Klimt.


The Hostile Forces ( Beethoven Frieze )

Death and Life


A Kiss for the Whole World ( Beethoven Frieze )

The Suffering of Weak Mankind ( Beethoven Frieze )

The Longing for Happiness Fulfilled in Poetry ( Beethoven Frieze )

The Arts ( Beethoven Frieze )

Theseus and the Minotaur

You can see more from the collection at the Style Bible website, or on their Facebook Gallery
And be sure to check out previous year's Style Bibles, which contain homages to wide range of paintings and artists, right HERE.


  1. Sooo cool, looks like a lot of hard work and creative thinking paid off.

  2. I wish these were video art creations rather than photos, cause then they'd have more of a purpose as creations and they'd add something specifically their own.

    As photos (looking like very realistic paintings at instances), they pale in comparison to the originals. They can indicate that realism (or at least a strict adherence to reference, realistic pose, holding a damn broad sword like in kendo or fencing because that's "realistic") is most likely no substitute for design that aims to walk the fine line between the realistic and the credible, design that grabs you in enough to suspend your disbelief and presents, in an interesting way, something that is in no way plausible in real life.

    Then again maybe it's my dislike of some art where it's too obvious the characters were painted off models in stiff "realistic", boring poses as a crutch for the artist's inability to capture motion or invent something with more interest and drama...or the AD's neurosis to direct at in such a way.

    At least the creators got to work on this commission and hopefully made a good sum.

    1. My thoughts exactly, Michael. Attempting to bring art down to earth is always a fool's errand.

    2. Michael, you might appreciate The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach CA. It is a bit more of what you seem to be referring to.
      Video here (and on YouTube):

    3. David, that was pretty interesting and close to what I had in mind. My main problem with the idea of the pictures was that it's taking away from the opportunity the artists had to make their own mark, it's like someone making a re-boot to a movie only worse. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

      Joshua, I don't think going ultra-realistic is bringing art down, it's a challenge that's for sure, but ignoring the potential that drawing something credible gives you is robbing yourself of the possibility to give the piece a reason to be.

    4. Michael, yeah, I hear what you are saying. While I am not opposed to what the photographer here has done or the Pageant idea I do always prefer the originals whether it is paintings, movies, any medium.
      I'm not sure it takes away from the opportunity but I will say there is nothing like an original idea and Klimt is an original. It is easier to spin off another's idea than to create your own.

  3. Gorgeous! I always loved Reid Miles' elaborate photo illustrations back in the day, just as I love Annie Leibovitz's now. Thanks, Dan!