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Witchcraft and Debauchery
William Mortensen’s Photography

William Mortensen was a photographer who made a name for himself in the 1940’s taking pictures of starlets, but who also had a dark side where he really expressed his creativity. His peers were not happy with his photos that depicted witchcraft and debauchery. The great Ansel Adams thought Mortensen was the “Devil” and “the Anti-Christ.” When I look at his work, I see someone who was pushing the boundaries, and even to this day his photos are inspiring a new generation of photographers. William used collage techniques way before it was commonplace. Check out this photo essay that features many of his mind-altering images. If you happen to live in Brooklyn, make sure to check out the exhibit Opus Hypnagogia : sacred spaces of the visionary and vernacular, curated by Stephen Romano at the Museum of Morbid Anatomy, and which focuses on a series called “A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft.” 

 
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William Mortensen was a photographer who made a name for himself in the 1940’s taking pictures of starlets, but who also had a dark side...

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