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Photographer's Showcase: Fritz Liedtke -- Astra Velum

photo-eye is pleased to announce the newest addition to the Photographer's Showcase -- Fritz Liedtke and his portfolio Astra Velum

Georgia -- Fritz Liedtke

I speak from experience when I say that a freckled person often has a complicated relationship with the spots that dust their skin. Freckles have long been considered a blemish and sign of imperfection. Dorothy Parker listed them among love, curiosity and doubt as the four things she’d rather not have in her life. Even today many people still attempt to bleach them from their complexion, but as photographed by Fritz Liedtke, freckles appear as nothing other than a thing of beauty. In his portfolio Astra Velum, Liedtke presents a series of portraits that are a celebration of the freckle, showing the faces of girls and women decorated with exotic and intriguing spots and speckles, adorning their skin like a veil of stars.

Presented as chin-colle photogravures, the prints themselves replicate the fine nature of skin. In the photogravure process, a plate coated in a light-sensitive material is exposed to the photographic negative and then engraved. The plate is then inked and printed like an etching, but in these images, the photogravure is combined with chin-colle, in which a thin sheet of paper is pressed and glued between the backing paper and the plate. The marriage of these processes results in a print that has a tactile quality beyond a typical photogravure or photograph. The handmade Japanese Kitikata paper on which the image is printed creates a warm tone that contrasts with the crisp white of the traditional printmaking backing paper. The process works beautifully with these images. Each is inked and printed by hand, making all subtley unique. In an age of mechanical and digital reproduction, Liedtke is interested in the handmade and drawn to processes that show the artists’ hand in the final print. He describes the subtle inconsistencies inherent in the printmaking process as being like freckles, they are beauty marks, not flaws.

Navae -- Fritz Liedtke

Liedtke also presents this body of work as a limited edition portfolio, available at photo-eye’s bookstore. The set of 12 photogravures are presented in a custom clamshell box. For more information on this beautiful portfolio, click here. The portfolio is a limited edition of 12 and as of today, there’s just one portfolio remaining in the base price tier.

To learn more about Liedtke's process, see his PDF on the creation of Astra Velum here.

See Liedtke's portfolio Astra Velum on the Photographer's Showcase here.

For more information, please contact photo-eye Gallery Associate Director Anne Kelly by email or by calling the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202