// Petra is an experimental photography artist based in Fränkisch-Crumbach, Germany. She studied both media design and photography and is now a full-time artist exhibited in and represented by multiple modern art galleries. We present a set of her artworks from the series “Beyond Certain”.
After her media design and photography studies in Frankfurt and Darmstadt, Germany, Petra worked in the multidisciplinary field of art direction, film direction and photography, before changing course and becoming a teacher. In 2016 she took the step to turn her long-cherished dream to become an artist come true. Since then she has been working exclusively in the fields of experimental photography and mixed-media-art.
That same year she became an artist of the New Art Gallery, New York. The first exhibitions and awards followed. In 2019 she became artist of Galerie Ahlemann, Duisburg Germany, and was named as selected artist 2019 of NNC, No Name Collective Gallery London, as a member of an international artist collective. Last year and this year several of her artworks were published in Artdoc Global Photography Magazine and NNC Art Magazine London, and exhibited at Contemporary Art Ruhr, Essen, ARTe, Wiesbaden and PhotoPopUpFair Düsseldorf. Since 2021 she is also represented by Gallery Rodart and Albe Art Gallery, both international art galleries for modern and contemporary art.
“Learn to watch snakes. Invite dangerous people to tea. Cry at movies. Bathe in the moonlight. Dream wild dreams. Open yourself. Dive in. Let fear fall. Play with anything.”
Joseph Beuys (from “How to be an Artist“)
What draws you to the arts?
“I understand and see my works as modern interpretations of the photo collages of the Dadaists. A central concern of my experimental photographic work is to create a counter-draft to the prevailing photographic and social conventions. Just like the Dadaists, who rejected the political, moral and aesthetic values of the time and elevated everyday objects to the status of art using artistic methods and means of expression such as collage or montage.
In the process of doing art, I work purely intuitively and try to find an expression for my visions as a poetic and aesthetic appropriation of life and timelessness. For me, every picture is a piece of the puzzle for a lyrical approach to these subjective visions and at the same time a chance for the viewer to form their own perceptions and experiences.”
What do you like best about photo art such as the images you have shared with us?
“For me, art is the equivalent of the deepest life experiences. What is represented eludes the simple reproduction of its surface and becomes a means of transport for a subjective representation of the world. In order to achieve this in my work as well, I developed my visual language. My work feels like a dance with and around the real and a moment of individual intervention in the conditions of the situation. It opens up the possibility of integrating my skills, experiences, interpretations and ideas into the experimental photographic work. At the same time, my works are media-reflective, as they make it clear to the viewer that every photo, and thus the reality depicted, can be digitally changed. Nevertheless, the basis of my photographic art is still working with the camera.“
With the series “Beyond Certain” Petra tried to discover new life journeys. Because the feeling of stability is undermined for many in times of the global Covid-19 pandemic, what was known earlier now appears in a different light. That is why her experimental photographic work explores questions of reality and discovers answers as poetic illusions. She shows new worlds that initiate something in the viewer, make it sound and trigger feelings. This should work even better by offering a human figure. These figures are abstracted, more or less translucent, in order to stimulate the viewers´ imagination in accordance with their own interpretation.
All essential components of Petra´s montages are based on photos that she has taken herself and then edits digitally. This leads to an abstraction in which photography is still recognizable as such and yet something new is created. Reality shows itself changed, is indifferent to the alleged connection of photography to the real and becomes the carrier of the content and the imagination. In this way the imagery becomes visionary.
Every photo tells a story. “As I work, I experiment with reality, following meanders and dreams, and completely immersing myself in the process,” she says.
Beyond certain is aptly titled, as neither in art nor in our reality can there ever be certainty.
Click on the photos to see a larger image with its title.