“She takes beautiful underwater pictures with models. By looking at her pictures you’ll see it’s almost as if you’d look at paintings”, says Mieke, a close friend of Gabriele Viertel. That’s not probably the most accurate description, but I guess it did the trick. It somehow got my attention, so I decided to check Gabriele’s body of works.
I stumbled upon a series of haunting photographs of pale, soulless-seeming characters that float adrift without a known destination. But that’s just the first impression.
Born in Germany, now living in the Netherlands, the formal model Gabriele Viertel decided to go behind the camera for a change, and in 2011 she started specializing in fine-art photography. It took less than 6 years to achieve a notable success – almost 20 all together solo and group-exhibitions since 2013 until now, according to Gabriele’s website. Which is a real accomplishment itself, not to mention she spread her wings all over the world (Russia, Italy, Germany, USA, Hungary, Spain, UK, The Netherlands).
In 2015, her artworks were part of the Best Contemporary Photography expo in Fort Wayne Museum of Art, in USA. At the end, the museum decided to include two of Gabriele’s artworks permanently in their collection.
The isolation in Gabriele Viertel’s photography is almost tangible. I can almost feel the pressure against my ear drums. The chilliness, the inaudible heartbeats that come with every single picture are harmoniously balanced only by the secure auto-suggested slow motion.
Since all her pictures are not only a proof of an intimate, internal contrast, but an oxymoron itself, I think it’s safe to say that what Gabriele Viertel does it’s, in fact, visual poetry. Interaction (a “poetry-photo” project she worked on based on Elly de Waard’s lyricism), it’s only another argument in favor. You can check the entire project here.
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