Fine Art

A documentary about Jock Sturges


This is a tale about photography and beauty, art and life.

Jock Sturges
(American, 1947 – )

Through photographic portraiture, Jock Sturges portrays the radiance of the children of close friends and family. The photographs, taken with a large-format camera and often in the final hours of late summer days, depict the luminescence of the human form, unclothed and unashamed. Born in New York City in 1947, Sturges earned his B.F.A. in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College and went on to receive his M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work is in the collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; The Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art; and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His work is published in numerous monographs, most recently Jock Sturges, New Work 1996-2000 (Scalo, 2000).


LINE OF BEAUTY AND GRACE is a tale about photography and art, family and life, dealing with the history of man and woman, life and art. Many art historians consider Jock Sturges, born in 1947, to be one of the most important fine art photographers of our times.

As a catholic and graduated in psychology and photography he survived the attacks of conservatives in the United States. Sturges has created a series of intensely powerful and moving photographs, with an outstanding sensitivity for composition and light – which, in the words of one critic, “is almost pain”. As well as Jock Sturges’s artistic work is an uncompromising search for truth and clarity. His private life is marked by his open nature and inspired by the love he shares with his wife Maia.

In LINE OF BEAUTY AND GRACE, the filmmaker and photographer Christian E. Klinger journeys into the life and work of this extraordinary man.


Jock Sturges was born in New York City, and worked in San Francisco for many years. He graduated with a BFA in Perceptual Psychology and photography from Marlboro College in 1974. Later, he received an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985. Many of Sturges’ works feature young girls and boys in the nude. Sturges’s work has stimulated controversy beginning with his first published collection, The Last Day of Summer. His published collections include: The Last Day of Summer (1991, Aperture), Radiant Identities (1994, Aperture), Jock Sturges (1996), Jock Sturges: New Work 1997-2000 (2000, Scalo) and Jock Sturges: Notes (2004, Aperture). He has exhibited widely in the United States, as well as, in France, Germany and Japan. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. Sturges’s large black-and-white and colour prints are all shot with an 8×10 large format camera. Today he works with a digital camera as well. Sturges’s most recent photographs are in colour. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Maia and their daughter Marine.


I have always been obsessed with the fleeting idea of beauty. It is in the times of political correctness, it is a lonely quest to find an artist working beyond the superficial world of fashion. I was greatly moved when I discovered his work and his warm and generous personality. These were the emotions, which inspired LINE OF BEAUTY AND GRACE. The main question we posed was, “what is beauty and why is the work of Jock so inflaming?” We were unable to answer this clearly. And it is maybe this inability, which becomes the strongest criteria in defining beauty and art.


Christian E. Klinger (Producer and Director of Photography: [email protected]) is a photographer and filmmaker who has worked periodically with media platforms in the USA and in Germany in the 1990s. He has created editorials, documentaries about epileptic children, Johann Sebastian Bach (Leipzig feature) and several portraits about photographer and artists. In his filmmaking career, he has interviewed artists, inventors or curators such as Will McBride (American photographer), Karlheinz Brandenburg (inventor of MP3) or Thomas Olbricht (art collector). He has also initiated and billed of various festivals and art events, and has had various exhibitions of his own work. He is the father of four children.

Daniela Krien (Editor in chief) has written and edited over 40 features about artists, photographers and inventors. Her editing credits include, Karlheinz Brandenburg (inventor of MP3), Hellen van Meene (art photographer), Hans Eberhard Zahn (Stasi victim), Prof. Dr. Dr. Gunnar Heinsohn (youth bulge), Will McBride (art photographer). She is the mother of two children.

Rene Blümel (mastering)
Thomas Tielsch (advice, filmtank Hamburg)
Katja Kirsche (Translation)
Glummie Riday (Translation, Voice Over)
Julia Berke (Voice Over)

Maia Davis and Marine
Vanessa Beverly-Whittemore
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Steven Meyer
Audrey Leclercq
Ronja Gerlach
Camille Jackson
Marie-Sophie Poignee
Allison Sturges
Rita Riewerts
Jean-Christophe Ammann
Prof. Klaus Honnef
Bodo Niemann
Gerhard Steidl

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