Angelika Platen's portrait photographs are extraordinary. Both how they come about, and in their results. When the photographer takes her camera, a complex process begins, which produces images that are more than a mere picture of external appearance.
Platen photographs artists, established and young positions, in the studio and in other places. Altogether about 300 contemporary artists were her models, among them Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke, Andy Warhol, Man Ray. However, she does not only show them in their outward physiognomy, but wants to look "into their face and into the soul" (Angelika Platen). A challenge, because with each portrait photo, a picture comes into existence, which might influence the perception of the represented person in public. And the depicted personalities are aware of the fact, often more than subconsciously, resulting in many of them wanting to determine the image that is taken of them.
Angelika Platen's artistic portraits break through this superficiality. She succeeds in capturing the essence of a person in a single snapshot - unadulterated and immediate. Her photographs seem like a film still, a lingering event that the viewers are free to continue in their heads: What made Imi Knoebel laugh this way, why does Neo Rauch look so thoughtful, what is Sigmar Polke looking for, high up in the branches of a tree? It is exciting to enter this world full of special moments.
The exhibition shows photographs of her early days (at that time still completely analog and developed manually in her own darkroom on silver gelatin paper), as well as new artist portraits of the last years (now slightly digitally edited), with which she took up again photography after a longer pause for biographic reasons. Photographing the new artists, who had meanwhile grown older, again and photographing new, young positions, including SEO and Helge Leiberg.
Parallel to this, another exhibition by Angelika Platen takes place at Berlin’s Willy-Brandt-Haus, "Künstlern auf der Spur (Being on to Artists) - Portraits 1968-2008" (25th of January to 5th of March).