Portraits of leather and images of consensual fetish play where accessories do not come first but the genuine interaction and attitudes of the gay male BDSM community are what is worth the most, also a decade of photos of events and documentation of leather meetings worldwide.
London, England, United Kingdom
Pornographic Virtue, October 2007 /January 2008 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Kink in action
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Kink in action 3
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Interview with Ulli Richter
What message(s) do you want to express through your work?
Anyone who has ever participated in an SM play scene, felt the relief of total submission, the handing over of control to someone he can trust as well as the intensity of the power play and the energy exchange between two people, will understand that this is a form of spiritual healing and must never be compared to the truly traumatic experience of violent crime and torture. BDSM in the 21st century has evolved and is so much more than just mindless bonking and beating! The people I photograph are complex individuals who appear threatening even aloof on the outside but are in fact kind, caring and full of passion.Which artists inspire you? Who are your masters?
I draw much of my artistic inspiration from the Greats of the still and moving images. My first contact with this particular style of photography was made when a friend introduced me to the work of Diane Arbus. This was then closely followed by encountering Richard Avedon’s set of haunting images from a mental institution and has taken me through to the more present day and the work of Ellen von Unwerth (her Revenge series is simply sublime) as well as the starkly beautiful and perfectly executed portraits by Annie Leibovitz.What have you gained by being on the internet?
Most of my work is influenced by surrealism and its preoccupation with dreams, sex and death. Federico Fellini’s movies inspire me greatly and in particular 8½ which is sinister but beautiful, disturbing yet light and almost frivolous at the same time. There are many parallels to the social structure and workings within the organised gay-male-fetish-scene, a scene that exists because an ever-increasing number of people believes in it.
The internet offers the unique opportunity of worldwide exposure in your own gallery – a gallery, where you are artist and curator at the same time and can reach a large number of people on a daily basis.Did the internet enable you to meet new models, to find new exhibit places?
Of course, it does that all the time! Modern communication has become invaluable to me and without being able to contact galleries, introduce my work and submit press releases, noone would really know about my art. Models contact me on a daily basis and again they have their images on websites or will send them straight through by e-mail. Long gone are the days of wasted meetings and misunderstandings.What projects mean a lot to you at the moment?
What projects mean a lot to you at the moment?New projects are happening all the time but there are 2 significant exhibitions coming up in 2007, which I have already started working on and I am really looking forward to. Also there is my ongoing work on a book showing scenes of genuine Fetish-BDSM Play as well as my appointment as curator at CCK Gallery London, the UK’s only kinky art gallery and resident photographer at RoB London and SpeXter Munich.Could you tell us a few words about the place you live/work in?
My home is London and I believe I have never been quite as German as I am British now. London is tough and I think just about everybody there has a love-hate-relationship with it. It is among the most expensive cities on the planet but it also gives a lot back to the one who survives: culture, magazines, fashion, fetish, trends… London is still where it is at!Words gathered in May 2006
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