"A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft" by William Mortensen

July 03, 2014

Born in 1897, William Mortensen began his photographic career taking portraits of Hollywood actors and film stills. Ahead of his time, Mortensen preferred manipulating his photographs to produce romanticist painting-like effects as opposed to leaving them untouched. Photographer Ansel Adams disagreed with Mortensen's stylistic approach calling him "Devil", and "the anti-Christ." Shot in 1926 and 1927, this series of works catalogs Mortensen's interpretation of a young woman's engagement with black magic. We would like to take the opportunity to thank this bold artist for taking a risk and getting a little weird.