Carsten Witte – a Photographer of Candour
Uncovered beauty of the female body and true emotions in the eyes of every model, conceptual yet strongly meaningful visual associations, balancing between provocative nature of the nude photography and deep understanding of true art aesthetics – this is how the art photographs by Carsten Witte appear before the eyes of the audience. Being a well-established fashion photographer, Carsten has elevated nude photography to the levels, where it is no longer about simple exposing of the naked female bodies; instead, it is about exposing the entire microcosm of each model with her deep personal emotions and feelings. The photographer reveals this mysterious universe, where physical body is only a part of it, with the help of highly skillful play with light and shadows, color and contrast manipulations. Combining female bodies with live nature objects, such as plants in his “Gold” series, or butterflies in “Psyche” line of art photos, Carsten Witte gives hints to better understand his works, leaving though the final verdict up to a viewer and his personal perception of the particular art piece.
Carsten Witte – who is he? What do we know about the man, standing behind the camera lens and guiding us into the still unexplored world of nude art photography? Not much, actually, in terms of biographic data. Carsten was born in 1964 in Hamburg, Germany. Even being a little boy, he has always been attracted by beautiful people, which, obviously, predisposed his future career as fashion and art photographer. In his 19 Carsten joined the advertising agency; a few years later he started to gain valuable practical experience while co-working with known photographers of that time. Year 1986 – Carsten Witte starts studying communication design in Bielefeld, Germany. Three years later his first photography works were published. However, being a true artist Carsten Witte has always urged for freedom in his work; thus, in 1995 he became a freelance art photographer with his own design studio in Hamburg. Being a very prolific photographer, Carsten Witte regularly displays his works at art galleries in Germany, France, Sweden, USA, and Australia.
Somehow scanty information about the personal life of Carsten Witte is fully compensated by the richness, openness, and sincerity of his photography masterpieces. Borrowing the idea of diptychs from ancient cultures, Witte presents his own series of Diptychs nude photographs, where each work is the combination of two beauties: a female body and its counterpart in form of a flower or a plant, both amplifying and highlighting each other. Though the colors are faded and shapes are dimmed, diptychs by Carsten Witte are overfilled with meaning. What a delicate vision and perception the artist should have to find such perfect combinations, where a female body and a flower form some integral conception of the universal beauty.
The concept of natural beauty is further developed in the Psyche I and Psyche II series of photographs. Here, female models are shown as butterflies. Indeed, butterflies are, perhaps, the best examples of live creatures, symbolizing the quintessence of beauty – delicate, pure, transient, yet eternal through their natural life cycle. Like butterflies demonstrate the entire spectrum of colors, Psyche line of nude art photographs by Carsten Witte represent the whole kaleidoscope of varying aspects of female beauty – from airiness and vivacity to sensuality, and from virgin shyness to seductiveness and sexuality.
Since 2000 Carsten Witte works on one of his most known and respected series of art photographs, called “Gold”. By following specific photography capturing and laboratory processing, Witte creates real masterpieces of photography art, which he calls himself “timeless absorption”. Reducing the number of colors to black and gold shades, the works from “Gold” series are filled with some special depth, nobleness, and conceptualism.
Called by art critics “David Lynch of fashion photography”, Carsten Witte definitely made a great contribution into the development of photography art today. Working in somewhere scandalous area of nude photography, he managed to show that this form of photography is not only about stripped female models. He managed to show that his models even being nude are not stripped off their inner world, emotions, and deep feelings. The beauty of a human body – this is the centre of Witte-created artful universe, and he did his best to show this beauty to the world in the most true and pure way.