The Brauer Museum of Art has started its season with an array of photographs from a talented artist.
Louis Witkin-Berg is a photographer that used her own style to create abstract pieces her exhibit “External Reflections - Internal Wars.” No imaging software was available to her in creating these pieces. It was with her talents in using a camera, darkroom and film that has allowed her to express herself through art.
Witkin-Berg wanted to express herself in a unique way that allows her to experiment with film. According to a statement that she gave for her art exhibit, she knew what type of photographer she was going to be while in school.
“Those who used photography to explore the external world were the windows,” Witkin-Berg said. “Those photographers, who used photography for self-expression to translate their inner ideas, were the mirrors. I am a mirror.”
The models within the color images were photographed between 1973-1974. Only two models were used in her photos. The pieces display an array of human figures, surrounded by energies of emotion. Specific pieces like “Terror in Red” display many bright and dark colors to give the emotion of confusion and fear.
The aspects and hues of red vary from bright colors similar to crimson and scarlet, to darker colors similar to wine and blood hues. It is with these colors that Witkin-Berg expressed the emotion she sought out to create, that allows the viewer to understand her work.
As for her black and white imagery, a sense of stillness and serenity is felt. Specific images give off the illusion of an object constantly moving. In her nature pieces, the objects that are zoomed in appear to be falling with grace. In some of her images, especially ones depicting water, due to the contrast of the photo, the water seems heavier. In a way, it appears to be the same consistency as an oil to a metallic like substance.
In her early works, a similar style can be seen from the imagery of the balloons. An array of different tints in the image brings it to life. For the image of the escalator that has an out of focus figure in the middle which gives it a haunting, almost empty feel. With the color photos, it is entirely the opposite. The imagery of many different people overlapping or within one another gives the viewer a sense of closeness, a feel of these individuals being overcrowded within an image.
Photos with the same model but different positions give the illusion of movement. It is if the overlapping images bring these pieces of artwork to life.
The colors that complement the model allow a sense of what the individual within the photo is feeling or thinking. Many of the faces are covered either by their own body or by another substance within the frame. The abstract coloration gives off emotion, unlike traditional photographs when it is the face that allows us to see emotion.