Critical Mass Top 50, 2011

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Fritz Liedtke










Fritz Liedtke

April, a freckled woman whom I photographed for this series, told me a story from her childhood. One day after playing outside, her grandmother asked her to go wash up. She went to the bathroom and did so, but grandma wasn’t satisfied. “Your face isn’t clean! Go scrub it some more!” The young girl was distraught, for all that was left on her skin were her freckles, and no amount of scrubbing would make them go away. While many people view freckles as an aberration or blemish, I find them enchanting, unique, even exotic. More than once, while photographing for this series, a model thanked me for making something beautiful out of what they often viewed as a flaw. I've hand-printed this series as photogravures with a chin-colle (a second layer of Japanese paper directly behind the image, giving the highlights a warm luminescence). The texture, depth, and visible evidence of the artist's presence make photogravures the perfect medium for a series which, at its essence, explores the beauty of surface textures: human skin and its freckles and scars, like a thin veil of stars.