Portfolio Review: Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert

Photos by Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert

The artist Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert was born in 1991 in Prien am Chiemsee (Bavaria/Germany). After graduating from Rudolf Steiner School in Schwäbisch Hall he did various internships working in the set design department of movie productions and theaters as well as an assistant director. Simultaneously his devotion to art and photography grew rapidly and he began producing more and more artistic works. Since 2012 he attends the Ostkreuz Fotografieschule in Berlin.

In his work the artist attempts to dissect the subjects of youth, beauty and arty itself. Joseph W. Ohlert is convinced that every person has a zero point: A state were everyone is the same, stripped down of clothing and attitude.

In 2011 the artist had his first solo exhibition in Berlin titled “PHOTOGRAPHED BY,” which dealt mainly with the relationship between photographed (object) and photographer (creator). The exhibited works suggested that there is no differentiation anymore between artist, object and viewer, the lines are blurred and fluid. For this project he worked together with a number of well-known people from popular culture such as Pete Doherty, Lily Cole, Jonathan Meese, Bela B, Vanessa Hudgens, Bruce la Bruce, HURTS.

Another “PHOTOGRAPHED BY” exhibition is planed for 2012, including collaborations with Patti Smith, Thomas Gottschalk, Veruschka, James Blake, Scott Matthew, Gilbert & Georege and more.

In the presented photo series Joseph W. Ohlert used a special lightning method, focusing again on the humand body and portrait. Despite his neutral artistic language employed in the photos Ohlert manages to let his models look fragile nonetheless. The artist casts his models via facebook and other social networks or he simply asks friends. This photographic series is united by a soft red color that Ohlert creates by manipulating the flashlight with his hands.

The hard flashlight of his Corpus series is now being toned down by the artist’s own flesh. The results differ greatly from the former series and showcase a much more staged but also softer almost dreamlike atmosphere. However, Ohlert’s main subjects are still inherent in the photos: youth, beauty, art and the essential core of humans.

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