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New York Art World magazine  

from The New York Art World, April, 2004

Dietmar Busse and Doris Mitsch


This two-person show of photographs by Dietmar Busse and Doris Mitsch, dubbed Hybrid, presents two remarkable sets of images that share botanical themes.

Busse photographs his own body, nude; covered head to toe in white, black and red, with the identical color background, rendering his face androgenous. There, and on his body, he has adhered various parts of plants; stems, leaves, petals, entire blossoms. It's a striking take on the masque, reducing his body to a primary-pigmented canvas, with petals that evoke feathers spilling over his face to strew themselves around the rest of his body.

In November 26, 2002, he's all white with red petals covering his face and torso; Gauguin depicts him all black with large tropical flowers in his ear on on his face; and in Red we see him all red, gazing mournfully with one eye at the viewer, his upper body strewn with white petals, and his head capped with pink and white flowers. Then, in a closeup titled Venice, the masque becomes explicit through the simple expedient of cutting eye-holes in an anthurium leaf (the heart-shaped leaf with the protruding finger) and wearing it as a Venetian Commedia dell'arte masque against his white-farded face. There is a strong dose of whimsy in these deadpan self-metamorphoses, that the artist seems to be asking us to take seriously, at least for a moment the fact that he's transformed himself into a purely decorative object.

Doris Mitsch offers something of a meditative revelation. She has placed flowers and other plant parts on a scanner and captured digital images without a camera. Her images are surprisingly sharp for being captured without a lens. The technique imparts a soft glow to lotus bulbs that seems to emanate drom inside them. The pink one, Lotus 2, is especially compelling. Her "Darkness" series explores plant forms closeup, revealing the fingerlike quality of the mass of begonia petals, Darkness D, the stately tapering of an orchid detail, Darkness N, the rebarbative extraterrestrial delicacy of a trumpeter pod, Darkness U, and the sensuous curves of the edges of an orange lily-like flower, Darkness R. She is most effective when distilling a graphic quality of her plant subject by showing only a portion of it, and this touch is what distinguishes these images from other perhaps more common floral studio portraits.



Copyright 2000-2012 Doris Mitsch