Udo Spreitzenbarth | Between Light and Dark
April 20 - June 3, 2023
EXOgallery proudly presents the phenomenal photo series Between Light and Dark of the renowned photographer, German-born, NYC-based Udo Spreitzenbarth.
This black-and-white series of photographs depicts celebrities in a new and unfamiliar context. Udo tells a story with each scene and creates an atmosphere meant to intrigue, captivate and mesmerize. Through his carefully designed set: scenography, make-up, and foremost light, rooted in the distinctive cinematic language inspired by film noir, Udo achieves to create dramatic emotions.
The interplay of light and shadow, the brightness and darkness, emphasize ambiguity, as known from film sets by Alfred Hitchcock or David Lynch. Strange, erotic, or ambivalent emotions are found throughout Udo’s sensitively designed scenes. His characteristic use of light and shadow dramatizes the scene and creates tension. This tension, along with the capture of a specific moment, allows the viewer to get a glimpse into the soul of the subject, rather than just seeing the surface.
His protagonists are often alienated and sometimes find themselves trapped in unwanted, but never hopeless situations. Udo uses attributes that heighten the anxiety even more, and emphasize attitudes and as well as motivations.
Mischa Barton’s portrait shot from above is reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Vertigo and The Birds. The star’s wide-open eyes, scream, and body position underline the unease and upcoming drama, and the fear is omnipresent. Nonetheless, the viewer feels intrigued and captivated, eager to catch a glimpse of the other side, from the character’s point of view.
On the other hand, Meg Ryan depicts the paradigm of a confident New Yorker, a tribute to Marylin Monroe’s photograph on the roof of the Ambassador Hotel from 1955.
Tyra Banks has become a central character of many of Udo’s outstanding fine art photographs. It is she who participated in their joint project Tyra 15, transforming the ultra-top model into 15 other high-profile celebrities. This series went on to become one of the most recognized projects of Udo’s fine art photography.
Udo’s timeless photograph of Daniel Brühl in front of a seemingly infinite sky scraper reminds of the existentialist intellectual movement and paintings of Hopper, as well as novels by Franz Kafka with their protagonists being at the mercy of the system. Udo deviates from the traditionally accepted composition by replacing it with an upward perspective, bringing the character even closer to the viewer.
Between Light and Dark, the ambiguous black-and-white series fascinates the viewers by showing the duality of the characters’ emotions.
I have always been fascinated by Renaissance paintings, by Caravaggio, who virtually invented this interplay of light and shadow. When the light suddenly bursts out of the darkness, I find that intriguing. I always seek to achieve this depth with my photography
Udo Spreitzenbarth is an international art, fashion, and beauty photographer. Udo was born in Germany and resides in New York City.
While studying architecture at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Udo developed an interest in modeling and fashion photography. It was then that he realized his passion for being behind the camera. After his first year in New York City, he shot his first billboard campaign that landed on a screen in Times Square.
His editorial photography has been featured in international issues of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and more. His art photography has received international acclaim with a successful series of solo exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Shanghai, and Beijing.
Opening Reception: April 20, 2023
During the Vernissage we welcomed the artist himself and one of the protagonists, Alexander Dreymon (The Last Kingdom).