Ricarda Niks’ photography is entirely devoted to the portrait. We are mostly talking about celebrities from the cultural world – initially artists in their studios and now mainly musicians from the fields of jazz and classical music – whom she captures in a combination of staging and spontaneity. Black-and-white shots alternates with color images, as do emptied interiors with landscapes. Moreover, Ricarda Niks almost always works with natural lighting and factors in the shadows. She photographs her subjects both as close-ups and as long shots, sometimes with them looking into far-away space, sometimes including a different, deeper or higher plane in the background. We cannot hear the music, and we do not see the musicians making their music. What we do see is them carrying their instruments around with them, they complement themselves with the instruments, thus communicating a deeper truth about the ardency of the sound and their own personalities.

Thomas Hirsch