Student Email 1
Feb 9 5:13 AM
I am currently writing my dissertation on death and disgust in art, focussing on the artist Joel Peter Witkin. In my research, I noticed certain similarities or influences to his tableaux work in your photographs, so thought I would ask if he has indeed been an influence to you?
Feb 9 11:36 AM
Thank you for your email Corinne.
I love Witkin! His work inspired my original interest in photography. We both frequently deal in dark and disturbing subject matter. We both also build tableaux scenes for our camera. However, I feel my work is much more narrative based than Witkin’s (more cinematic), and feel a greater kinship with Cindy Sherman and Gregory Crewdson in this regard. Witkin is located more in the still life and portrait genres. I love how he references canonized artwork from the past, and I respond to his delightful willingness to shock and upset the viewer as a kind of manifesto.
Best of luck with your dissertation, Corinne!
p.s. Witkin also has the greatest photographer statement of all time: “I want my photographs to be as powerful as the last thing a person sees or remembers before death.”
Tags: cindy sherman, gregory crewdson, joel peter witkin