Peter Rosemann

Artist Portrait

Peter Rosemann, Portrait of Minha Park (South Korea), 2023, ©Peter Rosemann

Image, mirror, fiction, illusion – representations of reality are often not what they seem. Whether in timeless black-and-white or lively colours, whether documentary or experimen-tal, whether representing or interpreting, whether constructed or staged: photographic portraits are never merely objective but potentially reveal a person’s inner life. In other words, they possess not only an external truth but, more importantly, an inner truth that emerges as a result from both the photographer’s ideas and experiments and the viewer’s self-image. In this respect, artist portraits represent a particular challenge, as the image is supposed to reflect both the sitter’s individuality and their creativity, that is, the meaning and unique-ness of their work. Exploring the personality and work of artists has therefore been a tempting and inspiring exercise for numerous photographers since the medium exists.

Working from a wide range of perspectives, the Berlin photographer Peter Rosemann has created a particularly dense and lively kaleidoscope of artistic personalities. Since 1999, more than a hundred artists from different backgrounds and various countries across the world have posed for his camera during their exhibitions or residencies at Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien. Reflecting the diversity of their artistic practices – from painting, drawing and photography to installation, performance and video art – Rosemann’s portraits adopt an impressive array of photographic techniques and styles, evolving from stylish black-and-white images to more realistic yet simultaneously more experimental colour photographs. Along the way, his initial “naturalistic” approach gives way to staged performances, emphasising characterisation or pictorial narrative. Eventually, the photographer even becomes an actor himself and enters the picture.

In a sense, Rosemann creates images in which he offers his own translation of what he feels is essential or connects him to the sitters. Through the combination of different pictorial possibilities and fields of action, he not only unlocks a near-inexhaustible wealth of ideas but also harnesses the tremendous potential it holds. The diversity of his works underlines both the artistic and cultural spectrum of his protagonists and his own pictorial ability. Rosemann uses the medium of photography as a tool for imagination, which in turn leaves room for the viewer’s individual interpretation. Seen from this angle, his photographic portraits of artists are a homage to the creativity and imagination of each of us – artists, photographers or spectators. (Text: Franziska Schmidt)

23.05. – 16.06.2024
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free