Many of my photographs are inspirations for paintings.
Some of my favorite images are below, mostly black and white.
Born in Northern California, I spent my childhood making little clay animals in my mom’s ceramic studio, playing for hours in the woods, and concentrating fully on imaginary characters I invented. A bachelor’s degree in English literature from UC Berkeley led to a career as an editorial fashion and portrait photographer in NYC and London for 18 years. Notable subjects include a young Kate Moss, Kevin Bacon, Morgan Freeman, Lenny Kravitz and many others, with my work included in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, Vogue, British Elle, and album covers for popular artists.
I was a rare woman in a very male-dominated field, trying to capture the female figure and attitude in the form of a narrative. But the photographs I made for myself were my best, and that is what is collected here. The theatrical potential of photography captivates me. Naturally, I am the director, and the models are the actors. The story is usually fantastical and sometimes absurdist – a theme I continue to explore for the last 22 years by making oil paintings inspired by my photographs. Allegorical and narrative, the images present heroines balancing feelings of mystery or foreboding with a sense of celebration. They have some kind of task or important mission. The photographs are about the hardest part of the trip; the intersection between potential and conflict.
Bullwinkel loves mixing “danger and fun” in order to synthesize the light and dark aspects of life. She puts, in the words of the Symbolist, Odilon Redon, ‘the logic of the visible … at the service of the invisible.’ “
– DeWitt Cheng
If I used my photograph as inspiration for an artwork, I’ve included it under the image.
Here is a link to my new 2021 book of my best photographs from 1979-2016.