Hans Gissinger was born in 1946 and raised in Zurich, Switzerland.
The 1960’s took Hans through his early education, a four-year apprenticeship in civil engineering, a year of military obligation and various jobs throughout Europe before returning to Switzerland, in 1970, where he began to work for Pro Helvetia, a cultural exchange foundation, in their film and photo department.
In 1972, he bought his first home in Vezelay, in the beautiful Burgundy region of France. It was in Vezelay that he made the acquaintance of Claude Stassart and his son Gilles and thus began a lifelong friendship, one which would play an important role in Hans’ future book projects.
In 1976, at thirty, Hans began his career, entirely self-taught, in professional photography. It was not long before he began to win assignments, both editorial and advertising, throughout Europe; first in his native Switzerland, then Germany, Italy, London and France. Curious about America, Hans made his first trip to Los Angeles in 1987. Shortly after, during a trip to New York, Hans began a relationship with his first US agent.
In the years that followed, Hans was to win many advertising & editorial assignments for worldwide clients such as Jaguar, Conde Nast, Interview, Donna Karan, Nike, Ebel, Cartier, Ruinart Champagne, Neiman Marcus, New York Times Magazine, Perry Ellis, Vanity Fair, and Lincoln Mercury, to name a few.
Finally, in 1994, Hans moved to New York and at the same time began to conceive his earliest art projects; by expanding his photographic work to include the publication of unique and experimental books. The first was, La Conversation, a limited-edition book (a signed edition of 2000), with a separate text in French and English written by his old friend, Gilles Stassart, whose father, Claude, had introduced Hans to Marc Meneau, the now famous chef. With this collaboration of writer, chef, and photographer, Gissinger was able to realize a first body of work expressing a life-long
fascination with elemental hunger and the confrontation of the world and body, in which we see Gissinger's view of Vezelay, where these photos were made. This work was completed in 2000.
The following year, Hans produced his second limited edition (signed edition of 500) publication, Salami, continuing to work with Gilles on the theme of food.
Gissinger continues working on upcoming book projects, under the working titles of “Brute” and “Peasant.” In addition, Gissinger is producing a series of seventeen large size 2-color photo silkscreens on canvas, taken from the book, La Conversation.