sabato 5 marzo 2011

(F)Art : Joel Peter Witkin

I dont think i might classify myself as an art lover. I'm not one of those pretentious anti-art people either. I like stuff that causes a reaction in me, doesnt have to be pretty or "look like the real thing". All it has to do is hit me in the soul.

In my head, art has no precise definition. Any medium that manages to give emotion to others, any kind of emotion, in one strike, wheter its notes, words, objects, images, classifies as art. I refuse the idea that "art" is only for art-school types who are erudite about techniques or stylings. I also DESPISE the whole neo-igno-snobs who drop all form of art into the garbage bin, cause its all crap and it's for pretentious people. There's powerful art, and crap. Happens that most great artists are actually crap. Picasso is crap. Van Gogh and Klimt are mediocre.

Now photography is one of my favourite artistic mediums. I am in loive with a few photographers that manage to shake my heart, brain and guts with images that are more powerful than any concept. One of those is Joel Peter Witkin.

I was introduced to his work by an art-loving ex-girlfriend, who dragged me against my will to a free expo of his picture. I was aware that his work influe nced a lot of the modern "extreme " visionaries (watch the Nine Inch Nails video i posted, its basically a tribute to Witkin in motion) but... well.... i didnt really care. Stilll, entering the gallery, and moving past the scrawny and unkempt art students, and tuning out the technical yappings of my companion, i saw.

I was hit by a wave of shock and fascination. The man modifies photographies and creates surreal images of bodies, objects and freaks all melted into one. He manages to give a face to extreme sex, freakish creature, sexual and religious symbolism. Makes surrealism made of flesh. ANd most importantly he kicks you in the guts. Its world is made of mutilated doll-women, dead natures made of body parts, decaying rooms filled with diasafigured objects, deformed deities and sexualized corpses. Its hard to explain.

I was left speechless and sweaty. staring at said pictures for hours. CHeck him out and go see his expos. Bring some friends. It will make some of them mad and make you look like a weirdo and that, trust me, is good. Weird is awesome.

One Of the many galleries of JPW:

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