Romney Mueller-Westernhagen

It's been said that a portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it. A former illustrator and model, Romney Mueller-Westernhagen is keenly aware of the need for photographer and subject to connect and get between the shirt and the skin to the truth. "Everyone has a secret. I try to to discover it".

It's one thing to capture what a person looks like - it's another to show who they are. In her earlier career as a fashion illustrator, RMW understood the power of images - and their limitations. The experience of spending many years immersed in the worlds of various public figures has given her the unique opportunity to see below the surface - into the very core - where the image recedes and the real persona emerges. "My goal is always to try to show the viewer a side that no one has ever seen before. Famous faces are not always as familiar to us as we believe them to be". And with all her subjects, famous or not, the photographer uses her ability to study faces to create an intimate connection in order to uncover what's hidden behind the mask. Her portraits not only reveal the truth about her subjects but the truth about ourselves as we look at them through the prism of our own psyches.

Photography captures a moment in time but art captures time in a moment. The photos in RMW's book, PORTRAITS, recently released by the prestigious publishing house STEIDL, convey not only the present but the past. Without the distraction of color one is forced to focus on the emotion. In her color portraits the hues grab the attention and the energy flows from subject to viewer. The entire collection demonstrates her knack of catching that unguarded moment. The work is raw, deceptive in its simplicity, but above all honest.

Born and raised in New York, a graduate of Parsons School of Design, RMW began her career in Milan, Italy, first as an illustrator and eventually as a model. As one of the few African-American models living in Europe at the time, she soon gained a reputation for her fluid elegance and personality. She began taking photographs to document her experiences and travels - her early work depicted the characters and life behind the scenes at recording sessions, concerts and on the road. In addition to this new book, RMW's photographs have been seen in exhibitions, including a solo and group shows at CAMERA WORK, Berlin. Published works have been included in the artwork of several albums as well as magazines such as DER SPlEGEL, DEUTSCH MAGAZINE, GERMAN GQ and GERMAN ROLLING STONE along with various US publications. Her photographs are in the possession of private collectors worldwide.

RMW is based between New York, Germany and the world. She travels frequently, armed always with a camera and her inquisitive eye.

Gallery Representation by: 

Camera Work
Kantstrasse. 149
10623 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49-30-3100776
Mail: info@camerawork.com

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

THE KEY
ESMT BERLIN and the
KOFI ANNAN BUSINESS SCHOOL FOUNDATION
JAN. 11-26, 2019
ESMT BERLIN
SCHLOSSPLATZ 1,
10178, BERLIN
GERMANY

MYSTERIES OF INDIA
GROUP EXHIBIT
DEC. 8, 2016 - JAN. 21, 2017
UMBRELLA ARTS GALLERY
NEW YORK, NY

IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS
GROUP EXHIBIT
DEC. 8-17 2016, 2016   
THE ATLANTIC GALLERY
NEW YORK, NY

BEYOND FACES
MAY 30 - JUNE 28, 2015
PADERBORNER PHOTOTAGE
PADERBORN, GERMANY

CAMERA WORK ROCKS
GROUP EXHIBIT
JUNE 11 - JULY 21, 2013
GROUP EXHIBITION
GALERIE CAMERA WORK
BERLIN, GERMANY

BEYOND FACES
AUG. 11 - SEPT. 22, 2012
GALERIE CAMERA WORK
BERLIN, GERMANY