Princess Sophie von Hanau, born into an Austrian / German family, is a citizen of the world, fluent in four languages. She went to school in Spain, and visited family in the U.S several times a year. Whilst in pursuit of her BA in psychology, she attended the University of Miami, Webster University Vienna, C.I.S in Madrid and graduated at London’s Regent college in 2004.
Believing that psychology is the window into the world and into human behavior, she began to merge this knowledge with her passion for photography, capturing the very moment that she wished to analyze. Sophie von Hanau then went on to another degree, and studied photography at the ‘School of Black and White Photography’ in London.
“With a camera I found a voice!” she says.
Quickly but to no surprise, she held her first photography exhibition at London’s renowned fashion store ‘Fendi’ on Sloane Street in 2006. It was not long before she broke away from ‘Traditional photography’ and began creating the over sized, contemporary, and sometimes slightly abstract artwork she does today.
Since a very young age Sophie von Hanau has had the privilege to travel to some of the most remote locations around the world, the biggest fascination she has always taken with her from these trips, has been the lasting impression that different cultures and traditions left in her memory. Since several years now, she has taken an almost anthropological approach to documenting these fading traditions.
"Regardless of the subject that I am working on, I like to maintain my own style of over exposing the image, and bringing out the most important information. By blending out the background, I aim to draw the viewer into the very essence of my subject. I blend out what is unimportant… to me. Resulting in a style I can claim my own."
Sophie von Hanau is considered an established artist, who has had numerous solo exhibitions across the world. Her work has been shown at some of the worlds pioneering and largest contemporary art fairs. Such as SCOPE Miami Beach, and Photo::Vienna held at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK -Wien ) Sophie von Hanau’s work is rapidly gaining recognition in the art world, and work already forms part of some very important and well known collections.
Sophie has recently collaborated with UNICEF and has spent time photographing in South Sudan, in an attempt to document the effect this 4 year long civil war is having on its people.
Her travels take her to Tanzania, Africa, for long periods of time, where the Sophie von Hanau Foundation funds several ongoing projects. www.svhf.com
“I go where my heart sends me, and I help where I can.” She donates a generous amount of the proceeds from her sales to these projects. Knowing that this will help better the lives of those children and their families which she has worked with, come to love and wants to help.