The work of (Joel-Peter Witkin) can easily be called disgusting, and himself - a mentally unhealthy person. Each of his pictures is saturated with death and ugliness. After all, his preference is a former war photographer gives to corpses and individual parts of the body, as well as to cripples, freaks, hermaphrodites, invalids, androgynous and transvestites, which he finds in morgues, nursing homes, backyards and through advertisements on the Internet.
A madman, a psychopath, a madman and even a Satanist, as soon as they did not name the former war photographer Joel-Peter Witkin, and all because the topic of death and ugliness worried him, not only in his youth, but also in old age. According to the photographer, who to this day continues to be engaged in creativity, he became interested in human ugliness and corpses, even in deep childhood, when in front of him, during a terrible accident, a little girl was blown off her head. It was then that he realized that life and death always go hand in hand.
Manic-abnormal, almost painful approach to creativity, makes Witkin a monster in the eyes of many, but despite all his unhealthy addictions, world photo critics recognize the author's works as genius. In their opinion, each picture is a visual representation of the unsteady border between the living and the dead, a frozen moment in which the living and the inanimate exist simultaneously.
Nevertheless, most of modern society is aggressive towards this kind of creativity. It is not at all surprising that a person in their right mind thinks about the fact that Witkin's dead characters were once living people who had their own lives. And what the photographer did to them is inhuman, horrible and unacceptable. And not at all because he immortalized their remains in such a vile way, but because he forcibly turned them into what he so wanted. After all, the dead are unlikely to ever know what was done to them - it is the realization of all this that actually causes that disgust and indignation from the public.
Despite popular opinions, the photographer's works, one way or another, fascinate and the characters on them outside the past and the future - attract attention. Indeed, in every picture Joel-Peter Witkin tried to convey that moment of admiration and horror, when life comes into contact with death, erasing the fine line of reality …
Apparently Joel-Peter Witkin is not the only photographer who has sought to turn despair and sadness into a masterpiece. A silent atmosphere of suffering and self-sacrifice, people who are more like asexual aliens sacrificing themselves, mutilated and tortured all this and much more can be found in the works of Daria Endresen, which balance on the verge of depressive surrealism and gothic.
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