Joel Peter Witkin

Looking at the work of Joel Peter Witkin it is obvious what themes he expresses in his photographs.

Death, corpses, disfigured and dismembered bodies and people usually classed as ‘outsiders’ dwarves, transexuals and hermaphrodites’.

A recurring theme in his work are masks.

Joel-Peter-Witkin-5 joel-peter-witkin-7 100125e joel-peter-witkin-the-kiss Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 10.22.04

Even though his work is very striking and different, you can see resemblances to other peoples work.

This image on the left of Witkin’s resembles this image created by Man Ray.


His work makes me think of a cross between old images of circus performers, and post mortem photography.

These images show Witkin’s version of still life.

100129f 2320184937_5ea79bc596

Witkin strives to create visually striking images. Photographs that his audience will not forget. The disturbing themes grab the audiences attention.

“I wanted my photographs to be as powerful as the last thing a person sees or remembers before death”  –  Joel-Peter Witkin

Witkin’s work resembles the style of victorian portrait photography and images usually found of circus performers or so called ‘freaks’.

These people were often photographed in a way so they were displayed.

circus_freaks_13 117

You can see the resemblance’s of these performers to the work of Witkin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s