November 3, 2011 - November 27, 2011
Astra velum is Latin for “veil of stars.” Photographer Fritz Liedtke has aptly chosen this phrase as the title of his striking and intimate portrait series of freckled women and girls. Each piece is a hand-printed photogravure, a detailed process which offers depth and luminescence unmatched by any other photographic printmaking method.
“While many people view freckles as an aberration or blemish, my response is the opposite. I find them enchanting, unique, even exotic. More than once, while photographing for this series, a model thanked me for making something beautiful out of what they often viewed as a flaw. . . . I’m also drawn to the tactile nature of a photogravure. The papers used are often handmade, with a texture meant to be felt with your fingertips. The ink embedded in the paper also gives texture to the image itself. For these reasons, handmade photogravures seemed the perfect medium for a series which, at its essence, explores the beauty of surface textures: human skin and its freckles and scars, like a thin veil of stars.”
Fritz Liedtke has been photographing since he was a child. At 13, with his father and their turquoise Datsun B210, he chronicled their travels across the United States with his Kodak 110 Instamatic; they covered 35 states in 31 days, washing suburban cars along the way to pay for their travels. Liedtke attended George Fox University and holds a BFA in photography from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. His work has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and is held in several private and public collections, including the Portland Art Museum and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Liedtke lives and works in Portland, Oregon.