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Pysche II is a series of photographs by Hamburg-based photographer Carsten Witte, whose work often combines elements of nature and flora with the female form. The second in his Pysche series combines two forms of natural beauty; the female body and the wings of butterflies. The images are treated with special tinctures and laboratory techniques that give them shining, glittery and shadowy effect turning them into sensual fairies, both magical and delicate.
Carsten Witte, born in 1964, is the venerable priest of beauty. Already as a little boy of three he slack-jadedly gazed after beauties that where passing by when he was walking at his mother’s hand. Many years later, after he had attended the Bielefeld school of photography, worked as assistant for renowned photographers and started his career as a freelancer with his own studio in 1989, he could finally dedicate himself exclusively to his perfect esthetics [sic] at taking shots of beautiful woman’s bodies, their eroticism and chasteness and the sensual play of shadow and light, whereas he has never betrayed the deference to the beautiful creature.
Numerous national and international fashion and lifestyle magazines engaged the master of modern form finding and even in the advertisement Witte distinguished himself with the subtle and extremely reduced structures in his images. "It’s always faces that fascinate me and this mysterious purity of really beautiful people," he said.
Since 1999 Witte is increasingly engaging in art. In 2003 he produced a series of timeless fantasies with female nudes who were always accompanied by a flower stalk. Witte says "The basic idea of these juxtapositions of nudes and plants is very formal and puristic. Form, color and transience are reduced to a common denominator."
Since the year 2000 Witte keeps working on the highly respected series of works "Gold." By means of secret tinctures and a special laboratory technique his icons of beauty have been attired in mysterious shimmering black-golden coats. The play of shadow and light, black and gold gives the images complexity, depth and a subtle charm. Witte calls this phenomenon "timeless absorption."
Carsten Witte's beauties are naked but never bare. They rather seem to feel secure in the superposing shadows. The interpretation of his works is basically left to the beholder but as a matter of fact he is subtly directing the view through his mise-en-scène. An US magazine called him the "David Lynch of fashion photography." His images are mystery plays, you never know exactly what is going on. Carsten Witte offers the parts but everyone has to solve the mystery himself. -- Tatjana Countess Doenhoff
Carsten Witte will be exhibiting his Beauty Collection opening February 21st, 2011 at the Monika Mohr Galerie
Carsten Witte on Behance