© Joel-Peter Witkin
© Joel-Peter Witkin
© Joel-Peter Witkin

JOEL-PETER WITKIN

Joel Peter Witkin was born in 1939 in Brooklyn, New York. He started taking photographs as a teen-ager while working in studios and photo-labs. From 1961 to 1964 he joins the American Army in Europe and Vietnam as a photographer. Coming back from war he worked as a fashion photographer, while graduating in Art History. His powerful and transgressive staged pictures are renowned all around the world and they generate from his obsession for human  “diversity”: dwarves, transsexuals, hermaphrodites and phisically deformed people. Witkin photographs also show his deep knoledge for Art history, as they are always fulfilled with high aesthetics refinements that mainly refers to classical paintings. From Greek to Roman mythology, passing through all the major styles of the second millenium: Renessaince, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classicism, Surrealism. Joel-Peter Witkin’s productions involve a lot of preparation and research, with preparatory drawings. Photographs, like movie sets, which require actors, dead bodys, handycapped people, deturped animals, props, painted scenographies. Witkin had major public retrospectives at Castello di Rivoli, Torino in 1997, at the Guggenheim, New York in 1995. Photology had his first Italian solo show in Milan in 1996 and organized a Museum retrospective in Tuscany in 2007. A Photology pocket size catalogue Joel Peter Witkin (book available for sale) includes more than 50 of his most astonishing images. He currently lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico.