Barbara Nitke - Artist's Statement

"In the fall of 1994, I began to photograph lovers in the SM scene in New York. My work had explored issues of sexual desire for many year, and sadomasochism was not new to me. It was the natural next step in the journey that I had set out on many years before.

I had worked as a set photographer in over 300 hardcore and SM/fetish porn movies. In that earlier work, I looked behind the scenes of making porn movies to reveal the human beings behind the sex machine image. The moments I loved were when they called a cut in the middle of an orgy scene, and the actors would drop their guard. They'd pull out a cigarette and stare into space, like combat soldiers with a thousand yard stare, except that they were still naked and surrounded by the accoutrements of the sex business."

Nitke has photographed the fetish, leather and SM community in which she tries to capture the bond between lovers, not the disconnection. Her images show the deep intimacy and trust, concepts which underline all SM practices.

Nitke has exhibited in New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago and Helsinki, Finland.