For German photographer Marius Sperlich, the devil’s in the details. The 26-year-old Hamburg native, who works in multiple mediums, began making audacious, Marilyn Minter–esque images upon relocating to Berlin in 2016, where cramped living quarters and a lack of formal studio space led Sperlich to begin photographing subjects in his tiny basement. There, he discovered the virtues of shooting subjects at an uncomfortably close range. Sperlich’s often-jarring photos dare viewers to invest their attention, eliciting emotion and curiosity in the process of taking them in—much like lying next to a lover and studying their features for hours on end. Some of his shots happen on the fly, while others are meticulously orchestrated. “I think these pictures are more intimate than ones of pure nudity,” he says. “My work isn’t about provoking. It’s about seeing things in a new way.”
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