New York-based artist Asger Carlsen makes these beautifully-toned monochrome portraits Edward Weston could be proud of, but there’s a caveat — his subjects are horrifying mutant humanoids, “slabs of what appears to be human tissue wrapped in skin and supported by bone.” Impossible and grotesque but so hyperrealistic, they are hard to look away from.
Paul Loomis reviewing Carlsen’s monograph of the series Hester for American Suburb X says:
Carlsen combines photography and sculpture and turns the combination on a subject that otherwise cannot be sculpted: the human body. This is the trick, and genius, of Hester. It gives the images their dueling monstrous and intriguing qualities, one stemming from their apparent deformity and the other from their originality.
Most interesting is that these fragments are not pulled from Carlsen’s imagination. The photographer/sculptor thinks of himself most as a “collector.” He finds images of real body parts he thinks are interesting, and when he has enough, stitches them together into mutant forms. “Hester,” Asger Carlsen, Feb 1 – Mar 16, Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Berlin