The Life Ball 2015 Brought Gustave Klimt Art To Life. And It’s Breathtaking.

Gustav Klimt lifeball 2015 gold

On May 16th, 2015 the 23rd annual Life Ball took place inside and in front of the Vienna City Hall. The annual event draws attention to the medical and social consequences of HIV/AIDS in order to raise vital funds for the projects supported by AIDS LIFE.

Life Ball 2015 Brings Klimt Art To Life

Life Ball 2015 Brings Klimt Art To Life

The large fundraiser is a multi-day event complete with star-studded luncheon’s galas, costume shows and auction.

Vienna City Hall outfitted for the event by Christoph Leder
Vienna City Hall outfitted for the event by Christoph Leder

This year the ancient Roman spring festival “Ver Sacrum” served as the inspiration with the theme of GOLD.

life ball 2015 Gold theme

Protagonists and figures like those that were painted and embodied by the Vienna Secessionists, Gustave Klimt in particular, were brought to life with makeup, costumes and sets for the event.

The Life Ball 2015 Brought Gustave Klimt Art To Life

lifeball 2015 invitation and original
The invitation to the Gala was also a reinterpretation of Klimt’s work

“Breaking out of old ways and advancing one’s own individuality and self-determination; this was the core idea of the Viennese Secessionists. The values of the avant-garde movement thus form a wonderful metaphor for the Life Ball, which has fought from its inception both for active steps towards health and for a conscious confrontation with and the overcoming of social barriers, taboos and stigmas,” as Gery Keszler explained the choice of theme.

The Beethoven Frieze

The Beethoven frieze (which is shown above in its entirety in Vienna) by Gustave Klimt is a centerpiece of the Viennese Art Nouveau movement and serves as a metaphor for the Life Ball.

A detail from the original Beethoven Frieze, 1902, by Gustave Klimt:
Gustav Klimt, Beethovenfries (Detail): Die feindlichen Gewalten
The image above, reenacted with live models for the Life Ball:
Details of the above image:
lifeball 2015 Vlifeball 2015 Ulifeball 2015 O

Another section of the original frieze recreated for the event:

and the above re-created with live models:
lifeball 2015 Ilifeball 2015 F

And yet another detail from Klimt’s original frieze depicting man’s search of happiness.:
and the re-creation of the above:
lifeball 2015 H
lifeball 2015 J

And the final wall of the original frieze:
klimt beethoven frieze final wall detail
and the re-creation of the above:
lifeball 2015 G

This piece was a central artwork of the set and was captured in these beautiful photos by Inge Prader.

Death and Life
Another piece by Klimt, Death and Life (1907), was also recreated with live models:
death and life by gustave klimt
The re-creation:
inge prader klimt life and death
lifeball 2015 Mlifeball 2015 N

The Style Bible

The Style Bible, which serves as an inspiration and guide for the ball guests, also presents itself according to Ver Sacrum: shimmering in gold and lavishly designed. The images in it are also recreations of paintings by Klimt and were also photographed by Inge Prader.

Danaë by Gustave Klimt:
Gustav_Klimt Danae
The re-creation:
lifeball 2015 KHygieia:
lifeball 2015 CThe Golden Fleece:
lifeball 2015 EMars and Sacrani:
lifeball 2015 Q
detail of marsKing Midas
lifeball 2015 W
lifeball 2015 BFlora and Pan:
lifeball 2015 P
lifeball 2015 A

The series of paintings interpreted by photographer Inge Prader is presented on six of eight postcards. In addition to the frieze, the cards were also printed with the Life Ball version of the first poster of the Vienna Secessionists and the “Mars and Sacrani” subject in “Secessionist red”, both also photographed by Inge Prader.
You can get this artistic postcard set for a minimum donation of 8 Euros, 100% of which goes to AIDS LIFE.

Worth noting is the poster featuring Conchita Wurst as Klimt’s Adele photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth which was used to promote the event and as the cover of the catalog:
conchita wurst as Adele

Although the Life Ball has passed and the auction has ended, you can support the Life Ball by purchasing mementos and objects from the event here including these bizarre bean bag chairs featuring Inge Prader’s photos (sorry, no longer available):


all images in this post are courtesy of Life Ball, From Austria and Wikipedia