Jens F.

Photographs and text by Collier Schorr. Interview with Jens F.
Steidl / Mack, Gottingen, 2005. 96 pp., Illustrated throughout, 9½x11".



About the Ltd Edition
Andrew Wyeth’s 240+ works depicting his neighbor Helga Testorf—collectively known as The Helga Pictures—are among the most celebrated and comprehensive studies of a single subject by a lone artist. Unfolding over fifteen years, this collection of tempera and watercolor paintings and pencil drawings offers a rare glimpse of shifting perception, emotion and emphasis as Wyeth and Helga come to know each other in an increasingly intimate and comfortable capacity. But, points out portraitist Collier Schorr, The Helga Pictures are also a study in power limned with manipulation and even cruelty. When Schorr met the German teenager Jens F. on a train in 1999 and proposed to photograph him (which she did through 2005), she knew that it was a seduction of sorts and that she intended to bend her model to her will. She set herself the somewhat remarkable task of posing him in all of the stances Helga had taken while posing for Wyeth. In doing so, Schorr creates an investigation into how gender and identity play out in a model aware of the photographer’s fluid intent; it is also a valuable exploration of one artist ’ s understanding of process through emulation. The end result is a mysterious photographic journal of scribbled notes, collaged elements and obvious discovery for both model and subject. ZANE FISCHER
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