Reto Guntli’s Eye On Beauty
Swiss photographer and multilingual world citizen Reto Guntli travels all continents for book productions, hotel shoots and magazine reportages on exclusive architecture, interiors, people, art, design and travel.
With over 40 books in the past 20 years, Guntli is one of the most accomplished photographers of luxurious lifestyles in the capital cities of the world. For his teNeues book, “Living in Style Paris” , he had Caroline Sarkozy opening doors to the best homes in Paris. His latest book “Ottoman Chic” by Assouline, depicts the opulent, lavish style of the Ottoman empire. Guntli regularly contributes to magazines such as Architectural Digest, Vogue, Casa Vogue, Elle Decoration, Traveller Cond. Nast, Architektur&Wohnen and Swiss Universe.
Reto Guntli became interested in photography in the 80s when he attended drama school in New York. To earn a living, he began to take portraits for talented friends who needed them for agencies. Guntli travelled to India and, from there, his breakthrough came relatively quickly. At the time, many of the maharaja’s palaces were being converted into luxury hotels. Since he was one of the first to photograph this, he was given access to many magazines.
The two books of Taschen Verlag’s “Inside Asia” are used by architects and designers as a specialist bible on Asian design. For this project, Guntli travelled for nine months through seventeen Asian countries in search of exceptional architecture. He went in and out of palaces, fishing villages, modern homes, magnificent resorts, ancient monasteries and temples. He personally gave the books to the Dalai Lama. For Guntli, this trip was the most adventurous and fascinating of his life.
Guntli has photographed lifestyles in the world’s most important locations, showing stunning homes, palaces, hotels, resorts and gardens, but also libraries and book shops in Europe. Each time, he gets his viewers to dream. Guntli says: “I am often surrounded by the most beautiful things in this world, which is a real privilege and joy. Recognising beauty in all forms is a motivation and with photography I can share my enthusiasm.” Harmonious composition and choice of content, as well as the right use of natural light, all come very naturally to Guntli. He brings a spontaneous informality and alchemy into play, revealing his passion. Some say he has an emotional approach to the camera which exposes the inner life and atmosphere of a room or an object.
Guntli is very fond of working with artists, architects, designers, musicians and writers who like having a media platform for their creativity. Guntli has been personally received by Kirk Douglas, Oscar Niemeyer, Tadao Ando, Ted Turner, Paulo Coehlio, Pedro Allmodovar, Lenny Kravitz, Erwin Wurm, Kim Catrall, Roberto Cavalli, the Ferragamo family and many others.
A genuine interest in the arts brings Guntli into contact with some of the most famous contemporary artists and collectors in the world. He collaborates with his friend, Marina Abramovic (her “Cleaning the floor” photograph, shot by Guntli with the Rolls Royce of cameras, the Swiss Alpa, has become iconic), and travels with Francesca von Habsurg to the Biennale to cover her TBA21 collection. Guntli occasionally shows his work in exhibitions and group shows such as the “Allure” collection at the Amerika Haus, Berlin, or at the Marta Herford Museum in Germany. He had a retrospective at the Urs von Unger Gallery in Saanen, Gstaad earlier this year.
Many of the world’s top hotel groups and resorts hire Guntli for their branding and advertising campaigns. He has forged solid relationships with Amanresorts, Chedi/ GHM, Regent, Four Seasons and others. Commissioned for preopening shoots, he is often the first guest ever in properties such as the Aman Canal Grande in Venice. In Switzerland, the latest luxury hotels such as the Chedi Andermatt, the Alpina Gstaad, and also established houses like the Widder in Zurich or the Beau-Rivage Lausanne, rely on his photographic style. For Guntli, photography is both a profession and a passion. His personal and professional lives are virtually inseparable, so his job never feels like work.