Joel-Peter Witkin

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Woman with Small Breasts, Paris © the artist
Woman With Small Breasts, Paris, 2007 © Courtesy of the Catherine Edelman Gallery
Eve Knighting Daguerre, 2003 Toned Gelatin Silver Print 30 X 40" © 2003
The Raft of George W. Bush, 2008 Gelatin Silver Print 22" X 24" © Joel Peter Witkin, 516 ARTS
Face of a Woman, 2004 Toned Gelatin Silver Print © Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Baudoin Lebon
Eva, 2012 Hand Coloured Gelatin Silver Photograph © Paulina Otylie Surys
LAS MENINAS, 1987 Gelatin Silver Print 28 X 28 Inches (Print) 30 X 40 Inches (Board) © JRFA #10668
Still Life: Mexico City, 1992 Gelatin Silver Print, Toned 25 X 28 Inches © Courtesy of the University of New Mexico Art Museum Center for the Arts (Main Campus)
Woman with Small Breasts, 2007 Silver Print And Oil Painting 63.5 × 58 Cm Edition Of 6 © Courtesy of the Artist and Keitelman Gallery
Still Life: Mexico City, 1992 Gelatin Silver Print, Toned 25 X 28 Inches; Gift Of The Artist; University Of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque; Image Courtesy Of The Artist © Joel-Peter Witkin
Above The Arcade (JRFA #10675), 2013 Gelatin Silver Print With Color And Encaustic 16 X 15 1/4 Inches (Print), 20 X 16 Inches (Paper) © Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Quick Facts
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.

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