Barbara Nitke is a New York City artist dedicated to opening the eyes of the world to the beauty of all forms of love, sex and passion through her photography.
For over twenty years, Nitke has been exploring sexual relationship and desire through photography. In the 1980’s she worked as a set photographer on New York porn movies. Her haunting photographs from this period reveal the combination of boredom, surrealism, vulnerability and dissociation inherent in the X-rated world.
She is best known for her compelling images of SM lovers, taken from the mid-1990’s to the present. That work celebrates the deep bond and intense passion of sadomasochists. The images have a trademark softness, which reflects the emotional states of love and transcendence she witnessed so often while watching SM play, and heightens the sense of romance Nitke sought to convey.
Hailed by The Village Voice for her quest “to find humanity in marginal sex,” Nitke has gained worldwide attention for her affecting and powerful photographs chronicling relationships between consenting adults engaged in sadomasochistic activities.
Her monograph, KISS OF FIRE: A Romantic View of Sadomasochism with an introduction by A. D. Coleman, is available at Amazon.com and in boutique bookstores here and abroad.
She is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work has been the subject of one-woman exhibitions in New York, New Orleans, Baltimore, Provincetown, and Philadelphia. Nitke was the keynote speaker at the 11th annual national Leather Leadership Conference in Minneapolis in April, 2007. She also works in fashion and advertising, and has been the official photographer for Project Runway since the show’s beginning. CBS, NBC, Bravo and Lifetime Networks are among her clients.
Nitke offers these lectures for art and photography students and social sciences graduate students:
- A Romantic View of SM: slideshow and talk
- Art and Activism: slideshow and talk about the activist side of sexual fine art
- Insider/Outsider: Sexual Fine Art Outside the Porn Paradigm: slideshow and talk
Her main focus in these talks is to show her work with the aim of demystifying and normalizing the people she has photographed.