Fine Art: Semra Sevin Captures Angels in the World’s Metropolises
Berlin, Germany – Semra Sevin’s photography is world renown from its start
in the Paris Fashion world to the thought evoking — mesmerizing pieces displayed in galleries from Europe to the United States. Her résumé boasts working on international advertising and fashion sets for Vogue, Hermes, Harper’s Bazaar and training in Los Angeles where she studied in film while working in TV production and development.
Semra Sevin’s latest exhibition opened on November 11th and is ran until December 16th in Berlin. The exhibit presents two bodies of work from photographer Sevin, titled “Metropolitan Angel (Cherub).”
The concept revolves around three metropoles which are a magnet to artists and creatives from all over the world—Berlin, Los Angeles and New York.
The two series reflect upon the search for identity. “Bodyreflexions” consists of a selection of surprisingly experimental, multi-layered images. The second series captures the artists which Sevin met throughout the course of her life as a photographer. Each photograph in this collection is juxtaposed with a concept that mirrors a characteristic of every individual photographed.
Some of the personalities displayed in the exhibition are: Larry Bell, Joan Quinn, Alicja Kwade, Anselm Reyle, Tim Eitel, Gregor Hildebrandt, Nick Ut and Gale Tattersall with his son.
“Bodyreflexions” was created in a unique process where females are photographed nude and layers of foils or projections are arranged, “opening up a manifold of perspectives to the viewer.”
At first glance there seems to be no definitive surface to these photographs, but rather an abundance of structures. These complex and distinctly orchestrated arrangements surprisingly offer up far more references to a “reality” than a purely documentary photographic style would. Sevin’s photographs lay within thetradition of experimental photographers like Man Ray, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Hans Breder – intertwining elements of abstraction and figuration.
Below we get a glimpse of this not-to-miss exhibition in Europe.
Daniel Kannenberg, an artist from Berlin, gives his perspective on Semra Sevin’s piece: “This photo is the reflexion of myself in a mirror, appearing half human, half ram skull. In my work I often reflect on the limitations of culture and civilization, assuming that we are rather driven by instinct than planning. From my point of view, the ram skull, which mixes with my reflexion, symbolizes a certain kind of rage or irritation which is an essential force behind all kind of creative process.
Semra came to my studio as I was preparing for my first solo exhibition at Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, working on a series of so-called “Hobbyvoodoo”- sculptures, partly to be seen in the reflexion. I think Semra Sevin is a very specialphotographer, showing sides of my personality I was aware of but never have seen depicted so vividly.”
ALICJA KWADE, internationally renown and hailing from a dynasty of important galleries in Berlin: Johann König. “Kwade tells us of a theory of 11 dimensions, some of which we can’t access but exist parallel to the ones we know. The multiplication and mirrors go some way to representing the time and space we can’t perceive.” Semra Sevin wanted Alicja Kwade, as all her subjects in this collection, to be defined by their characteristics and connection to their working environment.”
Alicja’s perspective on the connection between herself and the metropolis of Berlin: “Berlin is a very free and wise city. This place has experienced and seen so much over the course of history, which is why I think Berlin allows individuals to define themselves the way they like.”
MARTIN KWADE – brother of Alicja Kwade and owner of gallery KWADRAT which specialises on up and coming artists from Berlin.
Here is Martin’s perspective on Sevin’s pieces: “Semra Sevin has mastered her unique photographing technique with reflections and distortions to create a mysterious, multi-surfaced world. Semra does that really great! It was impressive how Semra photographed me, we had a beautiful evening. Semra uses assistants and different surfaces with which she operates right in front of your face, until she has exactly what she wants. My metropolis, Berlin, is an awesome city! Most of my friends and artists I know live here. And I am always happy to welcome them in my gallery KWADRAT.”
Gregor Hildebrandt is the beau of Alicja Kwade, who exhibits internationally his fine works of art. This reflexion piece of Semra shows Gregor poised awaiting to take off to his next destination.
Gregor Hildebrandt’s perspective on his infamous Metropolis. “I feel very comfortable in Berlin. I managed to build myself an artistic life I feel comfortable with. In Berlin I have a beautiful studio to work in as well as a beautiful apartment, both in proximity of each other and affordable in price. Berlin is where I have my friends as well as most of my artist colleagues. Some of the best things in Berlin are the warm months, starting in May. I very much enjoy a rose wine on Tor Street in Mitte. I love when the dawn sets after a whole night of partying at the beach. My most favorite bar in Berlin is Bar 3!” According to Berlin, Gregor is the quintessential life of the party.
Anselm Reyle’s estate in Berlin is his own metropolis within the metropolis. He has large working spaces in Berlin where creativity and his world collide. Above all Sevin says “he is very generous, humble, kind and patient. Reyle himself works with foils, so I mirrored his foils through my foils onto him. It was very interesting.”
Anselm responds, “Foil makes a lot of things look much better than in real life. That’s one of the reasons I like to work with it.”
It truly provides a captivating vision of colors and spectrums not seen by the naked eye, unless you have a very vivid imagination.
CHRISTOPH TANNERT is the curator and manager of the institution Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, which has made numerous exhibitions for countless artists over several decades in Berlin. Tannert has amassed an enormous library of artist catalogues that he sponsored via Künstlerhaus Bethanien. On top, Tannert is behind several art publications and finds himself on the board of art festivals.
Here we get Tannert’s perspective on Semra’s reflective piece: “The image is like a proof of my existence, full of secrets. Semra captivates a portrait of a person from the art world as a piece of a puzzle. What I embrace in this piece is response capacity and the emotional experience. It captivates that the reflection of the enormous library is like Berlin, which is a melting pot with crazy subcultures under Prussian leadership, ungovernable and p.c. in the same moment”.
COLLISION OF METROPOLISES LA & BERLIN
JOAN QUINN is a prolific supporter of the arts in L.A. Quinn, in her role as advocate for the arts, she sold and bought from young artists who are now superstars. Her residence is a testament to her life dedicated to art. Many of the artists she supported where shown at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. “Joan Quinn was painted, drawn and photographed by the most prolific artists in the whole world, including David Hockney and many more. So it was a great honour and pleasure to photograph her.” said Semra Sevin, who is inspired by her support.
Joan Quinn: “I was thrilled with the final photo….Semra painstakingly built a set for me to stand in the mirrors and the reflections of my portraits by other artists was the cornerstone of her creation. I think Semra found a time capsule of my past and incorporated it in a photograph that tells the story of times gone by….a passage of time shown through various artistic reproductions of my life. Semra collaged the images of the days gone by and made a photograph that takes me into the present.
The photograph is a personal story told through the eyes of an artist who knows and respects her subject, an artist who isn’t afraid to pay homage to works by other colleagues in the art world, works by which she created a unique piece of photography”.Further Joan Quinn says about the Metropolis Berlin: “…it is a special city intertwined with the present, the future and the pas, the past of good and evil, the past of culture and drought, the past of love and hate, all working to make the present a city of enlightenment.”
GALE TATTERSALL, a longtime Hollywood director of photography, gave Sevin a free pass for his film and photography studio, to create the reflection of him and his son together. Gale currently works on the TV Series “House” and “Grace & Frankie”.
Tattersall’s perspective on Sevin’s reflection: ”I think this image of myself and Rio, my son, is very spiritual. We are bonded together, as one. It is also a beautiful image… it causes the viewer to study the layers and contemplate… who is who? Are we indeed one, or two… interwoven?
From a technical point of view, the image is masterfully crafted… the lighting, the texture, the balance of light and shadow, leave nothing to be desired. A wonderful piece!”The rest of Semra Sevin’s Angels in the World’s Metropolises collection will debut their exposé in New York City and The Hamptons in 2018. Subscribe to Social Magazine to be invited to Semra Sevin‘s Exhibition Gala.