Germaine Krull (November 20th, 1897 - July 31st, 1985) was a jack of all trades. She was a photographer, political activist, and even a hotel owner. Growing up in Germany and later attending a photography school in Germany, Krull had a passion for art early on. In 1918, she opened a studio and ended up taking portraits of Kurt Eisner and became friends with Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Pollock, Max Horkheimer and more. Between 1918 and 1921, Krull was a common face to see at political events. She was eventually imprisoned for assisting in a Bolshevik emissary’s attempted escape to Austria. Later on, she was expelled from Bavaria and then she traveled to Russia with her lover Samuel Levit. When he abounded her in 1921, she was then imprisoned as an “anti-Bolshevik” and expelled from Russia as well.
Between 1922 and 1925, Germaine Krull lived in Berlin and got back to her photographic career. While in Berlin, Krull produced a series of nude portraits. During her time in Paris, her work was widely recognized and she became known as one of the best photographers in Paris.Modern critics have said her work is almost like a satire of lesbian pornography. I actually disagree. I think her nude portrait of women-specifically two women together, are absolutely stunning and so delicate yet so strong at the same time.
Germaine Krull has such a unique style to her nude portraits that I find absolutely fascinating. Her photos are shown as so delicate and so whimsical, but they also are so harsh and deeply rooted in something dark and vulnerable.
My personal favorite photo of Germaine Krull's is this one depicting two women in a way that shows them as lesbian lovers. This is something that, even now, is considered taboo in art. So, the fact that she created this when she did, speaks volumes about her as a person and as an artist.
All work courteous of Germaine Krull.