Mesmerizing Portraits and Nudes in Jo Schwab’s Photographs

German photographer Jo Schwab‘s work is immediately identifiable by its minimal renditions of the naked human form. A closer and more critical inspection immediately reveals tremendous innuendo and subtext. Jo’s models are mesmerizing and somehow their willingness to pose nude and reveal their vulnerabilities is confronting in a way that is uncommon and often absent in nude portraiture.

When I was 15 years old I saw Dennis Hopper as a insane photographer in the movie “Apocalypse Now” and it was the first time I clearly realized what I wanted to be. Than my uncle gave me the old Nikon camera from my grandfather and since this moment I had my passion… I knew that it was the only thing I wanted to do in my life. In 1992 I started to study photography at the state academy of photography in Munich.

My portrait works are mostly in the studio and I don’t need a lot… I nearly use always the same lightning and technique. I’m not very interested in the technical part of photography, I want to be completely free to focus on the person in front of me without being diverted by something else. This is also the reason why I really hate other people like assistants or makeup artists around me during the shootings. The challenge is the psychological improvisation between me and the person in front of my camera. The creative process is to bring somebody to the point, where, for a short moment, he shows me what I want to show… a kind of indefinable truth and human beauty.

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