Interview with Photographer Petula Girndt · Monochromatic World of Male Nudes

Petula Girndt, a Berlin-based photographer, explores the male side of sensuality through her provocative yet sophisticated nude men photography. Everyone has something that makes him glow, says Petula about the human nature. She is a careful observer who focuses on the feelings of passion and desire. She accentuates the immediate energy, movement and the feeling of the moment and uses blurred images as an artistic tool to create a certain distance and enable the viewer to feel the atmosphere on his own. Her unusual photographs impress with their strong poetic quality. The idea behind her work is not only the mere depiction of the male body – instead, Petula wants to unveil herself and her own feelings through the nude men photography. The artist has exhibited her seductive photographs not only in Germany, but also worldwide. Before her debut exhibit at Kölner Liste, Petula Girndt had already finished a photobook she has been working on for more than 2 years. This exciting photography book features the images found in Petula’s powerfully sensual Men series.

Focus On Loosely Structured Compositions

In our conversation with the photographer Petula Girndt we talked about her experiences with galleries and exhibitions in Berlin including Berliner Liste and we asked her about her artistic visions and future plans. It is evident that the artist’s photography has undergone a certain transformation over time. Her earlier pieces featured mostly female models, while her recent work focuses mainly on the nude male body. I wanted to make an exquisite photo book and show my bare soul with all of its delicateness, passion and abandon through male bodies. It has been kind of an experiment. I wanted to go deeper and express all the intensity that I feel. I couldn’t do this through the presentation of women, because it seemed too simple and even inaccurate. Since I was little, I always had a special connection with male companions. I grew up next to my twin brother and his friends and even nowadays as a grown up I prefer the company of men. I just really like men! And: I am always kind of “in love”, describes Petula the emotional background of her Men series.

Petula’s artistic approach didn’t remain plainly consistent over the years, it actually grew more complex. Her earlier photographs of women were also monochromatic, focusing on gestures and strong emotions and demonstrated her own artistic language. Petula explains: I started with analog photography and black & white films, so I wasn’t really concerned about the world of color photography. In my opinion the images in black & white are, in combination with the blurriness, more dramatic than color ones. In terms of my shootings it is true that I always have a theme, a guideline, but there is still a lot of room for artistic freedom, both for me and my models. Every shoot is a different spiritual journey and I can’t plan the smallest details of it, because such approach would decrease the intensity and rapture I´m looking for. My focus is always on the perfect moment. Another interesting fact about Petula’s work is that she does not produce editions, which means that all of her pieces are originals, just like paintings or drawings.

Participation at 2016 Berliner Liste

When it comes to exhibiting photography in Berlin and finding the perfect gallery to collaborate with, Petula believes that it has to do a lot with being in the right place at the right time and that it is a bit like destiny. The Berlin art scene has always been vibrant. There are so many fantastic and inspiring artists in Berlin, but at the same time lots of them are ephemeral, admits the artist. She is already an active exhibitor who had the great experience at Kölner Liste and now she is looking forward to 2016 Berliner Liste art fair, which will be held at the spacious Kraftwerk venue this September. I feel really excited to show the best of my work and meet other artists, just like I did at Kölner Liste. It was such a refreshing and inspiring art fair and we all had a lot of fun. Furthermore, I will be exhibiting in a gallery in Dusseldorf, in September and October. I am currently working on new projects, says Petula about her plans. In addition to her main passion, which is photography, the artist is quite curious about other media as well, which is another reason she is looking forward to Berliner Liste and its versatile participants who do not limit themselves to traditional media. My heart beats for short films, where I like to do experiments, but I am also interested in installations, reveals the artist.

A Lot of Passion, Enthusiasm and an Excellent Network

At the end of the interview, we have asked the artist to share her thoughts on the impact of social media and photo sharing websites on a modern photographer’s lifestyle, as well as to give a piece of advice to amateurs who still have not made it when it comes to showcasing their works. Honestly, I think I would have to use more time for building my own online identity and social media profile. It is probably a useful approach, but it´s not my favorite. I am not a genius when it comes to marketing strategies, it’s just not for me, admits Petula honestly. I just want to take pictures. However, it is important for every young artist to have a functional network. Apart from that: lots of passion, courage, and never give up!