Photographer Joel-Peter Witkin to Speak and Host a Print Viewing at Tuscon's Etherton Gallery This Weekend

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If you want to get out of town for the weekend and have a great excuse to see some world-class photography, Tucson's Etherton Gallery has good news.

This weekend, photographer Joel-Peter Witkin will attend the opening reception of Etherton Gallery's new exhibition, Surface Tension, on Saturday, January 12 from 7 to 10 p.m.. Surface Tension features Joel-Peter Witkin's photographs; mixed media and sgraffito drawings by Alice Leora Briggs; and photo-based mixed media by Holly Roberts.

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Etherton Gallery staff members say the exhibition "highlights the tension between the visible, textural qualities of the image surface and the political, social and psychological undercurrents of the artists' subject matter."

Witkin is a New Mexico-based photographer who's known for his blending of art history and contemporary culture. Witkin incorporates what he calls a "history of conscience" into his frames and creates intricate sketches of his ideas before getting behind the camera. His art is hard to get ahold of -- he creates few, limited edition photographs that are noted both for the subject matter and the work WItkin does in the darkroom.

According to Etherton Gallery, Witkins new work suggest a new direction: "The subjects of Witkin's images - the body, the nude and the still life -- are contentious. His models, found through classified ads, are often deformed and live on the margins - transexuals, sadomasochists, dwarfs, amputees, and androgynes. Yet Witkin finds beauty in the grotesque, as well as the classic beauties that occasionally inhabit his photographs."

Witkin will attend the opening reception of Surface Tension on Saturday, January 12 from 7 to 10 p.m.. On Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. Joel-Peter Witkin will give a talk followed by a print viewing of his photographs at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. Etherton Gallery is at 135 S 6th Avenue in Tucson.

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