Grotesque, Occult, and Bizarre Images by William Mortensen, the Forgotten Hollywood Photographer – Design You Trust — Design Daily Since 2007

Grotesque, Occult, and Bizarre Images by William Mortensen, the Forgotten Hollywood Photographer

Photographer Ansel Adams, whose beautiful black and white landscapes full of mountains still grace both museum and office walls, called fellow photographer William Mortensen “the Anti-Christ” for what he did to the art of photography.


In a roll call of the pioneers of modern photography, one name is never invoked. From the late 1920s to the 1950s, William Mortensen was one of the most famous and celebrated photographers in America. However, his subject matter – which veered towards the savage, indecorous, gothic and grotesque – as well as his use of montage and illustration, made him a pariah among the puritanical new guard in photography, led by Ansel Adams, who tried to write him out of history.

Mortensen was the last of the great pictorialist photographers, the movement that dominated early 20th-century photography. Working in Hollywood, he shot many of the leading stars of his day: Rudolph Valentino, Lon Chaney, Fay Wray, Jean Harlow, Clara Bow and Peter Lorre all submitted themselves to the gaze of his lens.

[Fancy_Facebook_Comments_Pro width="650"]
If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Design You Trust Facebook page. You won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Powerful Portraits of People Revealing Their "Invisible" Illnesses
Discover the Fascinating World of Plant Root Systems with Erwin Lichtenegger and Lore Kutschera's Collaborative Project
Photographer Fell In Love With Iceland And Moved There To Capture Its Captivating Nature
"False Gods": The Superb Retro Aesthetic Artworks of Fârzad Borousan
Amazing Photos Of DMC DeLorean, Which Became Famous As The Time-Traveling Car In The “Back To The Future” Movies
The Best Photographers Of 2021 FdB Wedding Photo Awards
Photographer Discovered An Abandoned Doctor’s House Filled With Creepy Things
"Sometimes Blue and Cold, Sometimes Hot and Intense"
1935 Mercedes-Benz 540K Streamline Roadster By Erdmann & Rossi
"Emotional Struggle": The Melancholic Creepy Self-Portraits of Miroslava Vikhrenko
Multiple Exposure Portraits by Christoffer Relander
Bizarre Pair of Shoes Called “Soles” Ardèche From the Late 19th Century
Photographer Reveals the Beauty of Female Body in Minimalistic Monochrome Photographs
Exploring the Vibrant 1970s Graffiti Scene of Boston Through The Photos of Jacobson Marciano
Viktoria Manas - Victoria’s Secret Plus Size Model
Photographer Joseph Philippe Bevillard Captured The Secret Lives Of Irish Travellers Revealed In Intimate Portraits
1 Lighthouse, 365 Clicks
Astonishing Portraits of WWII Survivors
Lavazza 2020 Calendar By David LaChapelle
Marvelous Beauty And Lifestyle Portraits By Consuelo Sorsoli
Charming Photos Of Cool Girls Posing With Their Cars In The 1920s
Henry’s Concepts: Adorable Photo Series Directed Entirely by a Two-Year-Old
Post-Soviet Russia in Provocative Visual Mise-en-Scenes of Sergey Chilikov