Karl Petzke


Karl creates images that capture a viewer’s attention. Every image containing elements of alchemy that evoke a response. Karl studied Photography and Film at Southern Illinois University and later moved to New York before settling in Northern California. His commissions have ranged in scope from working with established brands like Peet’s Coffee and West Elm to intimate projects for individuals and companies. Along the way, Karl has authored and collaborated on many books, he was awarded the James Beard Award in 2007 for “Best Food Photography.” in a cookbook.  He currently finds his work taking him to less prosaic places, seeking sublime beauty in unfamiliar landscapes.

It was a great visual pleasure to go through Karl’s portfolio: the mood, the colors, the blacks and whites, the subtlety of his gaze and the poetry of his imagery, made for a very pleasant and unique journey. I like his distance and his relationship with his subject matter, be it the women or the street. His universe is a sensual one, suave, and inviting.

Associate Curator, International Center of Photography