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Joel-Peter Witkin (American, 1939- )

As a child, the Brooklyn-born Joel-Peter Witkin kept a journal recounting newspaper articles about mental illness, atrocities, and misfits. He photographed sideshow performers at Coney Island as a teenager and turned to the privacy of rooftops to create scenes with people and props. He received a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union School of Art, New York, and was invited by Van Deren Coke to the graduate photography program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Witkin's photographs of cadavers, body parts, the handicapped and the trans-gendered are arranged in the studio in dense contextual narratives full of myth, allusion, and allegory.
- Mary Feidt

Selected Bibliography
Coke, Van Deren. Joel-Peter Witkin: 40 Photographs. San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1987.

Parry, Eugenia. Joel-Peter Witkin. New York: Phaiden Press, 2001.

Witkin, Joel-Peter. The Bone House. Santa Fe: Twin Palms Press, 1998.


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