Joel-Peter Witkin

American, b. 1939

1.1k followers

Joel-Peter Witkin

Bio

American, b. 1939

Followers
1.1k
Biography

Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939) is an American photographer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work often deals with themes such as death, corpses (and sometimes dismembered portions thereof), and various outsiders such as people with dwarfism, transgender and intersex persons, as well as physically deformed people. Witkin's complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or classical paintings.

Witkin was born to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother. His twin brother, Jerome Witkin, and son Kersen Witkin, are also painters. Witkin's parents divorced when he was young because they were unable to overcome their religious differences. He attended grammar school at Saint Cecelia's in Brooklyn and went on to Grover Cleveland High School. In 1961 Witkin enlisted in the United States Army with the intention of capturing war photography during the Vietnam war. However, due to scheduling conflicts, Witkin never saw combat in Vietnam. Witkin spent his military time at Fort Hood, Texas, and was mostly in charge of Public Information and classified photos. In 1967, he became the official photographer for City Walls Inc. He attended Cooper Union in New York, where he studied sculpture, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. Columbia University granted him a scholarship for graduate school, but his Master of Fine Arts degree is from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque .

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MoMA PS1, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
International Center of Photography (ICP)
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939) is an American photographer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work often deals with themes such as death, corpses (and sometimes dismembered portions thereof), and various outsiders such as people with dwarfism, transgender and intersex persons, as well as physically deformed people. Witkin's complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or classical paintings.

Witkin was born to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother. His twin brother, Jerome Witkin, and son Kersen Witkin, are also painters. Witkin's parents divorced when he was young because they were unable to overcome their religious differences. He attended grammar school at Saint Cecelia's in Brooklyn and went on to Grover Cleveland High School. In 1961 Witkin enlisted in the United States Army with the intention of capturing war photography during the Vietnam war. However, due to scheduling conflicts, Witkin never saw combat in Vietnam. Witkin spent his military time at Fort Hood, Texas, and was mostly in charge of Public Information and classified photos. In 1967, he became the official photographer for City Walls Inc. He attended Cooper Union in New York, where he studied sculpture, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. Columbia University granted him a scholarship for graduate school, but his Master of Fine Arts degree is from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque .

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MoMA PS1, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
International Center of Photography (ICP)
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Get the Artsy iOS app
Discover, buy, and sell art by the world’s leading artists
To download, scan this code with your phone’s camera