Joel-Peter Witkin

Witkin

Joel-Peter Witkin is a photographer whose images of the human condition are undeniably powerful. For more than forty years he has pursued his interest in spirituality and how it impacts the physical world in which we exist. Finding beauty within the grotesque, Witkin pursues this complex issue through people most often cast aside by society -- human spectacles including hermaphrodites, dwarfs, amputees, androgynes, carcases, people with odd physical capabilities, fetishists and "any living myth ... anyone bearing the wounds of Christ." His fascination with other people's physicality has inspired works that confront our sense of normalcy and decency, while constantly examining the teachings handed down through Christianity.

His constant reference to paintings from art history, including the works of Picasso, Balthus, Goya, Velásquez and Miro, are testaments to his need to create a new history for himself. By using imagery and symbols from the past, Witkin celebrates our history while constantly redefining its present day context. Visiting medicals schools, morgues and insane asylums around the world, Witkin seeks out his collaborators, who, in the end, represent the numerous personas of the artist himself.

The resulting photographs are haunting and beautiful, grotesque yet bold in their defiance – a hideous beauty that is as compelling as it is taboo. Witkin begins each image by sketching his ideas on paper, perfecting every detail by arranging the scene before he gets into the studio to stage his elaborate tableaus. Once photographed, Witkin spends hours in the darkroom, scratching and piercing his negatives, transforming them into images that look made rather than taken. Through printing, Witkin reinterprets his original idea in a final act of adoration.

Joel-Peter Witkin lets us look into his created world, which is both frightening and fascinating, as he seeks to dismantle our preconceived notions about sexuality and physical beauty. Through his imagery, we gain a greater understanding about human difference and tolerance.

Most images are available as 16 x 20" and 30 x 40" gelatin silver prints made in editions of 10 and 12, respectively. The 16 x 20" pieces are $5000 and the 30 x 40" pieces are $10,000.

All drawings are unique and range in price from $2000 to $4200, depending on size.

Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.

 

Joel-Peter Witkin
20th Century Sandwich: Arbus on E. Hopper, Bacon with DK,...Muy Pic(asso)ante, Bogota, 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
A Day in the Country, Berlin, 1998
Joel-Peter Witkin
A History of the White World, New Mexico, 2011
Joel-Peter Witkin
Above the Arcade, 2013
Joel-Peter Witkin
Abundance, Prague, 1997
Joel-Peter Witkin
Ars Moriendi, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Bacchus Amelius, New Mexico, 1986
Joel-Peter Witkin
Bad Student, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Beauty Has 3 Nipples, 1998
Joel-Peter Witkin
Bird of Queveda, New Mexico, 1982
Joel-Peter Witkin
Bogota (drawing for Prom Foto), 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
Bogota (drawing for The Scale), 2008

sold

Joel-Peter Witkin
Bruja, Spain, 1987
Joel-Peter Witkin
But Dad! New Mexico (drawing for The Raft of George W. Bush), 2006

sold

Joel-Peter Witkin
Cameraless Camera, 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
Chinatown, New Mexico, 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin
Corpus Medius, 2000
Joel-Peter Witkin
Costumed Inmate, Insane Asylum, 1993
Joel-Peter Witkin
Countess de Maublanc, Paris, 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
Counting Lessons in Purgatory, New Mexico, 1982
Joel-Peter Witkin
Courbet in Rejlander's Pool, New Mexico, 1985
Joel-Peter Witkin
Crucifix and Tapestry, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Cuisine of a Failed Romance, 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin
Dog On A Pillow, 1994
Joel-Peter Witkin
Dwarf from Naples, 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
Ecclesia Pederastes, 2004
Joel-Peter Witkin
Empire, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Eve Knighting Daguerre, 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin
Execution of an Extraterrestrial, 1864, 2013
Joel-Peter Witkin
Face of a Woman, 2004
Joel-Peter Witkin
Feast of Fools, Mexico, 1990
Joel-Peter Witkin
Female King, New Mexico, 1997
Joel-Peter Witkin
Fictional Store Fronts: Camera Store Window, 2004
Joel-Peter Witkin
First Casting for Milo, 2004
Joel-Peter Witkin
France and the World, Bogota (Le France et le Monde), 2011
Joel-Peter Witkin
Gods of Earth and Heaven, Los Angeles, 1988
Joel-Peter Witkin
History of the (White) World: Venus and the Magdalen, Paris, 1994
Joel-Peter Witkin
History of the White World: Arabia, 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
Humor and Fear, New Mexico, 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
I.D. Photograph from Purgatory: Two Women with Stomach Irritations, 1986
Joel-Peter Witkin
Impedimenta, 2000
Joel-Peter Witkin
Imperfect Thirst, New Mexico, 2016
Joel-Peter Witkin
Interrupted Reading, Paris, 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
Interrupted Reading, Paris (pencil drawing), 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
Johnny Apollo and pilot's wife, Bogota, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Kertesz in Edo, 2005
Joel-Peter Witkin
La Belle at La Bête, Paris, 2017
Joel-Peter Witkin
La Giovanissima, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Le Brassiere de Joan Miro, New Mexico, 1982
Joel-Peter Witkin
Leda giving her lover a condom, 2011
Joel-Peter Witkin
Madame Jeanne, Bogota, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Man Reflected, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Man with Dog, Mexico, 1990
Joel-Peter Witkin
Marriage, Bogota, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Model at the end of art, art school, Bogota, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Mother of the Future, 2004
Joel-Peter Witkin
Myself as a Dead Clown, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Naked Follow the Naked Christ, 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
Night in a Small Town, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Night in a Small Town (study for the photograph), 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Objects Near a Window, Paris, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Oedipus and Jocasta, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Performers, 2014
Joel-Peter Witkin
Portrait as a Vanite, New Mexico, 1994
Joel-Peter Witkin
Portrait of Greg Vaughn, 2004
Joel-Peter Witkin
Portrait of Nan, New Mexico, 1984
Joel-Peter Witkin
Poussin in Hell, Paris, 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
Priest Pederast, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Prom Foto, Bogota, 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
Prudence, Paris, 1996

sold out

Joel-Peter Witkin
Queer Saint, 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
Raphael and la Fornarina, 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin
Reality is an Invention Balthus, 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
Retablo, New Mexico, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
Satiro, 1992
Joel-Peter Witkin
Severed Leg Weathervane, 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin
Shoe, Hat and Eggs, 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
Siamese Twins, Los Angeles, 1988
Joel-Peter Witkin
Sins of Joan Miro, New Mexico, 1981
Joel-Peter Witkin
Still Life with Breast, 2001
Joel-Peter Witkin
Still Life, Mexico, 1992
Joel-Peter Witkin
Story from a Book, Paris, 1999
Joel-Peter Witkin
Studio, Berlin, 1998
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Aleph, 2001
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Black Hat, New Mexico, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Eggs of My Amnesia, 1996

sold

Joel-Peter Witkin
The Eggs of My Amnesia, Rome, 1996
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Fly, Bogota, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Graces, Los Angeles, 1988
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Fashion in Paris, 2007
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Hats in Art, Hopper (Prada Fur Helmet) , 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Hats in Art, Magritte (Louis Vuitton wool garden hat) , 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Hats in Art, Manet (Alexander McQueen feather hat), 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Hats in Art, Matisse (Dior glasses and head scarf) , 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Hats in Art, Picasso (Chanel bowler), 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of Hats in Art, Rembrandt (Balenciaga crisscross felt hat), 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The History of the Cross, the Tripod and Photography, Bogota, 2011
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Poet, 2005
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Raft of George Bush, 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Red Table, The Skull of Boldini, 2006
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Scale, Bogota, 2008
Joel-Peter Witkin
The Soul Has No Gender, Mexico City, 2016
Joel-Peter Witkin
Two muses helping Nietzsche remember, Bogota, 2011
Joel-Peter Witkin
Two Prostitutes Adoring the Virgin (Masked), Bogota, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
White on White, Paris, 2009
Joel-Peter Witkin
Woman Christ Triptych, 2014
Joel-Peter Witkin
Woman with Small Breasts drawing, 2007

sold

Joel-Peter Witkin
Woman with Small Breasts, Paris, 2007