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Joel-Peter Witkin

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Brooklyn, New York City

Birth year

Lives in
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Works in
Albuquerque, New Mexico


Joel-Peter Witkin is an American photographer . His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses (and sometimes dismembered portions thereof), and various outsiders such as dwarfs, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and physically deformed people. Witkin's complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or famous classical paintings.

Some of Witkin's works, namely those with corpses in them, have had to be created in Mexico in order to get around restrictive US laws. Because of the transgressive nature of the contents of his pictures, his works have been labeled exploitative and have sometimes shocked public opinion.

His techniques include scratching the negative, bleaching or toning the print, and using a hands-in-the-chemicals printing technique. This experimentation began after seeing a 19th-century ambrotype of a woman and her ex-lover who had been scratched from the frame.

Recent Exhibits

Joel-Peter Witkin participated in these exhibits:

Mar, 2016 The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs
Getty Center Los Angeles
Mar, 2016 Modern & Contemporary Works: Paintings, Drawings, Prints & Sculpture
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Mar, 2015 COLLECTIBLE: Contemporary & Modern Works
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Feb, 2015 de-FORMATIONS
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Sep, 2014 Luz Restirada: Latin American Photography from the UNM Art Museum
University of New Mexico Art Museum Center for the Arts (Main Campus)
Aug, 2014 Special Closing Event: Twin Visions
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Click here to see all exhibits for Joel-Peter Witkin
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