Sara Perovic


Milan Gies

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Ali Kate Cherkis - Diary

Jul 10, 2019

Diary is a stream of consciousness. It’s where my thoughts go in photo form. Some of those thoughts turn into longer stories, and some stay right there on their own. It’s how I process and meditate on what’s happening in my life, and how that might manifest in my work.


One thread has been photographs of friends as they transition into motherhood. The space we create for one another and within our own bodies. The selflessness in the role. The choice and autonomy and power. Through this I’m gaining a deeper understanding of my relationship with my own mother, and with myself, too.


The first image, Honey and the Milkdrop, was made in a small town in England last year. Honey’s mom Isadora can be seen in the fifth image, when she was one week away from giving birth to her first child, Inka. The quiet moments when her children are breastfeeding provide a brief pause in the day. In Honey and the Milkdrop, Isadora’s old belly button piercing is visible as the milk buds from her nipple. Somewhere between her life before giving birth and her place as a mother of two lies her present self, deeply complex and beautiful.


That image (plus many other ones of my friends breastfeeding) was removed from Tumblr and Instagram multiple times. With Tumblr, I appealed and after reviewing my case, they decided that the photograph violated their policy on explicit sexual content. In a world where women are increasingly feeling the loss of respect and autonomy over their own bodies, it’s painful to be shamed by a platform that was essentially built for creatives. Needless to say, I no longer “blog” now. But I feel, more than ever, that it’s important to share images of our bodies. To normalize and also to convey the power that no conservative agenda can ever take away.

Artist Blog

The blog of Der Greif is written entirely by the artists who have been invited to doing an Artist-Feature. Every week, we have a different author.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Jul 16, 2019 - Ali Kate Cherkis

Wellfleet (Emma and Noemi, 1992) by Philip-Lorca diCorcia

© Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner


Philip-Lorca diCorcia is an American photographer based in New York City. John Szarkowski once wrote, “Philip-Lorca diCorcia involves us in the issues of story and plot by constructing tableaus that withhold information that we expect to be given.” He is masterful in his ability to blur the line between fact and fiction, carefully constructing moments that shift our minds out of the ordinary to a place of fantasy. In this way, he gives the viewer freedom to create the narrative.


I chose this image because it stares back at me from an open book on my desk. I cannot close this book. It’s been open for years. This photograph shows the quietest kind of love between mother and child. The tender care, service, and selflessness. The light on the droplets of water mimic that softness. The mother cleans her child after a summer afternoon at the beach. The only sounds are that of the water splashing on the shower deck and the purr of the cicadas. Soon they’ll go inside for dinner. It won’t be long until the fireflies emerge. It’s a fuzzy early-childhood memory. It’s a study in meditation and heart.

Evelyn Dragan

Jul 15, 2019 - Ali Kate Cherkis

“All of them are of my closest friend who became a mother at 24 and had 3 daughters in 3 years. From the very beginning I photographed her and her children, even the birth of her third daughter. It was fascinating to me to see my friend transition into motherhood and how it changed her life. It was then when I realized that there are a lot of clichés when it comes to photographing pregnant women / children / mothers, and I think that’s a shame because it is one of the most normal and raw things in the world.


Photographing my friends and their children is one of my favorite things photographically, it’s not staged and it’s where I feel totally free – it’s just us spending time together, and their interactions with each other naturally form beautiful compositions. The picture in front of the black happened while I was taking a solo portrait of my friend and her daughter got fussy and she held her for a bit.


I’ve shaken off the fear of being labeled a baby photographer or someone who creates uber feminine imagery, because to me childhood and parenthood / motherhood are huge parts of life that don’t need to be hidden or glossed over. They are the foundation of everything – they are complex and deserve to be seen, not just happen in the background.”


Evelyn Dragan is a photographer based in Frankfurt. I chose these images for her ability to elevate the everyday moment to something ethereal and special– as if each photograph is a velvety poem written just for the viewer.

Alice Zoo

Jul 14, 2019 - Ali Kate Cherkis

“The first image is a portrait of Jess, a close friend and very talented artist. I took this photograph of her in Scotland when she was pregnant with her son John. She’s a truly wonderful mother, and wore it all so naturally from the beginning; I’m so glad to have recorded this particular moment in her life.


The second image I shot when I was on commission in Turkey, and we were out on a boat trip. The woman in the picture is a Russian tourist, and – ironically, given that you can’t see her face in the image I eventually ended up choosing – she was probably the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen, in a completely innate and natural way. She had the glow of a Renaissance painting. I was lying around on the deck and I asked the woman if I could photograph her, and we realised pretty quickly that we didn’t have a single word of language in common, but she smiled and was at ease with my camera. Over the course of an hour or so I took a few pictures of her and her baby as they played together, napped together. It was one of those moments where everything seemed to cohere, and I wasn’t stressed trying to catch ‘the moment’; it all just fell together naturally.”


Alice Zoo is a photographer and writer based in London. Her photos have been exhibited in galleries around the world, including the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition. She approaches her work with sensitivity and intuition– a quiet breath which can be heard through her images and compelled me to chose these photos for this feature.

Mark Sommerfeld

Jul 13, 2019 - Ali Kate Cherkis

Winnie and Darren by Mark Sommerfeld.


“These images were all shot over the course of a long weekend at a lake with close friends. As with most weekends away with photographer friends, we were all taking too many photos of one another, but Winnie and Darren were the main event.


Winnie and Darren were the first to give birth in that friend group. Their devotion to one another has always been inspiring and I’m certain everyone who knows them would say the same, emphatically. Who they are and how they are when they’re together makes them wonderful friends, and pretty fabulous portrait subjects…which was not surprisingly elevated by their pregnancy. Watching them prepare to welcome their newborn into the world, and their lives, was outrageously educational and aspirational. I’m not a parent but from what I gather, most parents would likely agree having kids shakes up one’s routine quite a bit. Winnie and Darren include their new son in their day to day lives, seemingly effortlessly, which has been an astounding feat to witness…and, has raised the parenting bar to a place I would aspire to reaching should parenthood become a part of my life one day.”


Mark Sommerfeld is a Canadian photographer based in NYC. I chose his work and these photos for their quiet intimacy and poetic nature.

Elinor Carucci

Jul 12, 2019 - Ali Kate Cherkis

Self portraits from Elinor Carucci’s series, Mother.


“Motherhood revealed the best and the worst in me. I was filled with so many emotions. Joy and wonder, love and happiness coexisted with sadness, anger, exhaustion, and anxiety, as well as a sense of mourning for the body I would never have again, the woman I would never be again.


I felt and saw so much in those first months– the beauty and ugliness, the tears and laughter, the extremes you come to know when you’re a new parent. I tried somehow to deal with it all through my camera, hoping to portray the complexity of motherhood as honestly as I could.


I have always endeavored to convey a full range of emotion in my work, to take our little stories and turn them into one epic human tale. I am both comforted and relieved to discover how universal my story is, and I thank the many mothers I have met for their honesty and willingness to share. What they have told me has freed me to portray the complexity of the relationship between mother and child, as so much of what I have experienced has been experienced by other women as well.”


Elinor Carucci is a photographer who lives and works in NYC. In her photographs Carucci seeks what she calls ’emotional truth,’ where authenticity and theatricality can coexist. She has published three monographs to date; Closer, Dairy of a Dancer, and Mother.


Jul 11, 2019 - Ali Kate Cherkis

These images show my friend Isadora during her first and second pregnancies. Through her and my friend Julia, I truly learned about selflessness and the raw tenderness of new motherhood. My understanding of the role shifted during those early, sleepless days, and my respect grew tenfold. 


I made these photographs from a place of deep love and admiration. This work has not always been met with the same feeling once I’ve put it online, though I firmly believe that this sentiment will shift in our lifetime. For now, I’d like to continue to make images that normalize and celebrate the female body and motherhood– to honor the power and strength and magic of women in our ability to create and nourish and love.