Joel-Peter Witkin: An Objective Eye - ★★★½

Joel-Peter Witkin: An Objective Eye - ★★★½


“I think we're living in an age of total none entity.”

- Joel-Peter Witkin

Compelling documentary on extremely controversial New York photographer Joel-Peter Witkin. Featuring in-depth interviews with Witkin himself and his friends, colleagues and art critics who know and understand him the closest.

I've always been a fan of outsider art, especially what makes their bizarre artists tick. Thomas A. Marino's workman-like documentary 'An Objective Eye' is a really fine example. Subversive, genius, ghoulish and maverick are all words you could throw at Joel-Peter Witkin's, and each would fit to a certain extent. I started watching this 2 hour docu without much pre-knowledge of his work, just an abhorrent morbid curiosity at why the slightly odd yet jovial 70 year old Witkins photographs corpses, limbs, amputees, freaks and various other weird subjects. As the film rolls we see Witkins feverishly working in his studio chatting candidly to the camera, as it moves along he and his heady friends elaborate on his childhood years. Of how hes an identical twin and was born a triplet, the the eldest (a sister) of the three had died during birth. And also an event during his formative years he witnessed a car accident that resulted in him seeing a woman beheaded, that changed his view on death and the body. Its paints it pretty clear he was never destined to become an Athena poster artist. But hes an unquestionably gifted and really interesting guy that made a fascinating subject (2 hours though was a tad overlong).

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

Ethically right or wrong his artworks eerily captivating (just g666gle it and see for yourself). They kinda remind me of 4AD era Pixies record covers, or what I suspect David Lynch's fridge contents to be like.

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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