Statement on Portrait
By photographing people I know and putting them in an environment which I think fits them, I am able to tell something more about them than a plain background would offer. This is one of my ways of bringing a person’s character into the picture.
The girl in the pictures is S., she has a skin condition which is often painful, but she is a person of lightness and positivity and does everything in life with a straightforwardness, which I admire her for. I thought she would be perfect in the water and the environment would match very well with her character.
Not only because of S. and aesthetic reasons, but also because of the meaning that water has for me, I chose both the lighter and the darker images. When you are in the water you see yourself in it’s reflection, your body feels almost weightless, but if you are careless and underestimate its force you might drown.
The girl in the picture is L., these photographs of her were taken in an old building which will be torn down by now. L. is a strong person, she is very good in controlling her body and her movement because she used to dance. For this shooting we brought a lot of flour with us and L. started to dance again. I love the interaction between her and the flour dust and I enjoyed making a mess in this old house and bringing it to life for the last time.
The boy in the pictures is J., who is travelling the world, mostly by hitchhiking. His hometown is Düsseldorf, where he returns to once a year. Here I have photographed him in an old building which is only used by graffiti artists, homeless people and some kids playing around there. As I see him, J. is something in between those last two, the whole world is his home and his playground.
The Gold Series are self portraits. Photographing myself serves as an expressionist mirror when I don’t feel right. The camera functions as a corrective apparatus which makes my inner struggles visible to others and makes me able to change the situation I’m in into something positive, something creative.