Photographs by

Mark B. Anstendig

Valeska Gert
The great grotesque pantomime

Scroll down and click on small images to see larger pictures.

This is the greatest series of portraits of anyone that I know of. Valeska is magnificent, unmatched by anyone. The photos all are spot-on and all are usable. The focus, which is perfect and still state of the art, is “right on” placed directly on iris of most important eyeball (usually the nearest) in the bulk of these photos due to the use of the Messraster focusing device. And the few less than Messraster-perfectly focused photos are still better focused than most anything else at the time. It also contains what was probably the very first use of the a super-wide angle 35mm lens for interpretive artistic purposes. The first such lens was an East German lens by Zeiss Jena. which I acquired in East Berlin long before it was exported to the world. This series still has many more superb photos to scan and post.

I have seen many photos of Valeska. None capture her as she really was. Not even those of the great Herbert Tobias. They are all too soft. Valeska was as hard as diamonds when she did her "thing". And in repose, she was still hard as nails, looking right through you and seeing all the faults of humanity, which she, of course, incorporated into her pantomime.

These photos match and capture all those qualities with a brilliance of which I am enormously proud.

The first photo is the real Valeska, as no other photo I have seen captured her. The rest are her, and her alone. There was no posing her. No leading her. One set her loose and captured it. Plain and simple.

Sequence Photo 1

Sequence Photo 2

Sequence Photo 3

Sequence Photo 4

Sequence Photo 5

Sequence Photo 6

Second series  - 1

Second series  - 2

Second series  - 3


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