Last night a friend of mine and I were discussing the sad, but unpreventable fact that there aren’t many Winter Olympians hailing from the more southerly regions of the world.
After some research, we found that Mexico has only one representative — and has had only one representative — at the Winter Olympics for 30 years running, or rather, skiing. After further digging, we discovered that this athlete is about as esoteric as they come.
Meet Prince Hubertus Von Hohenlohe: pop singer known as Andy Himalaya (presumably named after his friend Andy Warhol and a mountain range) and Royal Disaster (presumably named after his skiing career — he’s never medaled in the Olympics, or any world-stage competiton), photographer, mutli-linguist, royal descendant of the last Holy Roman Emperor Kaiser Franz II, sole Winter Olympic participant for Mexico (and founder of the Mexican Ski Federation) since 1984. He’s still skiing at age 55 and is participating in Sochi, yes, for Mexico.
Von Hohenlohe’s Wikipedia page reveals that he lived in Mexico for the first four years of his life and then moved to Spain. Thereafter, he studied in Austria and his main residence was in Vienna, where he began working as a photographer and artist. Hilariously, although he has Mexican nationality, which makes him eligible to compete for Mexico, he only spends a few weeks a year there.
Welcome to his world:
Obviously, I was struck by all of this peculiarity and immediately thought to myself: This could be the most interesting man in the world. After a quick google search, unfortunately, Yahoo and People Magazine had already beaten me to the punch on that one-liner, but it became utterly apparent, thanks to Von Hohenlohe’s personal website that he might also be the most liberal man in the world:
His personal credo (all mistakes you might spot are Von Hohenlohe’s):
My work is about the difficulties of finding your own identity in a world where so many images are created to impose products brands and lifestyles.
In our western civilisation we have to live with the constant bombardment of images – ideals dreams beauty concepts from magazines – street ads -television channels to name a few, in a strange way they are far from everyones own relaity and identity. but we unconsciuosly accept the race of achieving this marketing created and proposed ideals! they become a major driving force in our existence! a sort of raison d etre in itself.
Knowing that the ultimate goal „to be as cool as someone on a Diesel poster or a Loreal make up face” is virtually impossible (as those images in itself are computer maniupulated to make the necessary difference). we are bound to fail while we are driven to suceed!
In melting with lots of this images by reflecting myself sponteanouly in every sort of life situation possible, i try to overcome the distance between my real existence and these proposed identities. they become sort of a third reality, from which then i can reflect and choose in which direction my life should be going; how i would like to see me in my own created advertisment or movie if u want. find my very individual grip at this planet.
My work is further very driven by this tension between totally created surreal images blending with historicaly grown city landscapes lost places and doomed realities. its for me a bit the language of images of 21 century life ; and i want to be part of it – am part of it – and by shooting the photos have a digital prove of it.
Strangely enough some of the images tell stories, that i don´t see when taken in the first place. Teaching me, that it is important that the picture first are taken – and then have the chance to be than authentic storytellers of our times.
By looking at my photos you become part of my reality and the time that we live in!
It is very important for you to know that these images are one single sponteanously taken photograph, which has not been manipulated after. as i once said, life is beautiful and coulorful enough not to add anything!
Von Hohenlohe’s view of art and life, (My reading: societal structure is bad and arbitrary, so reality is only what you make it — or more simply, “YOLO,” in all the negative senses of the acronym), is further expressed in his photography gallery, which consists of topless women who are either skiiing or laying around helplessly in ski gear.
Currently, the nude photography has one of the women in trouble at home in Lebanon, who has caused scandal in the eyes of her countrymen.
Despite his devil-may-care, truncated life philosophy, Von Hohenlohe remains the most interesting character of the Winter Olympics. Have fun watching him: He’s the one wearing the Mariachi suit and losing badly.