Supreme has linked with Brooklyn-born Joel-Peter Witkin on a hoodie, long-sleeve t-shirt and t-shirt featuring three of his photographs: Mother and Child (With Retractor, Screaming), Harvest and Sanitarium, which inspired Alexander McQueen’s 2001 “Asylum” runway presentation.
Witkin who describes his work as ‘reflecting the insanity of life,” is known for photographing taboo subjects like dead bodies and dismembered body parts as well as people who are viewed as physically outside the mainstream.
Working mainly in black and white, Witkin’s images are rooted in early photographic history and Daguerreotype techniques, which he uses to create surreal imagery. Witkin uses an array of techniques to create his images such as scratching the negative and bleaching or toning the print.
According to Supreme press, “By centering and eroticizing deformity and the macabre, Witkin’s transgressive images challenge the viewers’ perceptions of beauty.”
Witkin has said his ghoulish lens was rooted in his childhood when he saw a young girl decapitated as the result of a car accident. Growing up, he was fascinated by people who were viewed as societal outcasts, an interest that led him to photograph Coney Island sideshow performers.
In the ’60s, Witkin served as a photographer during the Vietnam War. After he was honorably discharged, he became the official photographer for City Walls, NYC, an organization that produced murals throughout the City.
Extending his creative skill set, Witkin studied sculpture at Cooper Union in 1974 and was granted a fellowship in poetry from Columbia University. In 1976, Witkin moved to New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico, where he earned an MFA in photography.
Supreme’s drop featuring Wikin’s work will drop on supremenewyork.com on September 24, 2020 at 11 AM EST in North American and BST in Western Europe. Offerings will launch in Japan on September 26th.