BEATE C. KOEHLER (DE)
German artist Beate Koehler realizes utterly peculiar portraits. She takes pictures of people and duplicates them, creating symmetrical images. The general harmony however is disturbed by a hovering sense of melancholy, transmitted by the reclusiveness of the characters. Moreover, the juxtaposed sides do not always match completely, as a variation in the light or in the pose often challenges the overall equilibrium of the works.
In Beate Koehler’s photographs we can see a boy laying or kneeling down, a man curled up or reaching out for sunlight. Sometimes their images are multiplied several times. The human body thus becomes part of an abstract design, perfectly balanced, which leaves empty geometrical spaces in the middle. On the other hand, people are exposed and left alone with their image reflected: they convey feelings of both vulnerability and solitude.
In the series “Icy winters” the photographed people appear as laying under a thin sheet of ice, which discloses to the viewer their confinement and isolation. This surface seems to modify the light effects on their bodies, accentuating the thorough chiaroscuros. Sometimes cracks are visible, and their lines create marvellous composition. Koehler integrates them with overlapping patches of color and intricate patterns, increasing the complexity of the pictures and leading the spectator to dive into all their details.
Beate C. Koehler
Icy Winter VI Icy Winter IV