Student Email 1

Feb 9 5:13 AM

Comments: Hi!

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?


Corinne Smallman

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.”


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One Response to “Student Email 1”

  1. Michael Manchester Says:

    I’d like to read this dissertation. Any chance you can keep in touch and provide a link when it is completed.

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