Christian Ryder Witkin was born in Manchester, England in 1966 to a Dutch mother and an American father, painter Jerome Witkin. They lived in various European and American cities until 1972 when after his parents’ divorce, Christian moved to Amsterdam with his other until 1984. At 17 he returned to the States to live with his father and began a full time study of photography at Syracuse University. IN 1987, after interning for the summer, Christain made the decision to move to New York City and assist full time, working for such noted photographers as Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber and Annie Leibovitz.

After assisting for four years, in 1993, Christian launched his independent career receiving instant recognition as an important and fresh voice in the photographic community and the art world. His work immediately began to bring him critical and editorial acclaim. Major campaigns and awards followed.

With a noted artistic father and uncle, Christian grew up exposed to the cutting edge of visual expression, allowing for his visual development as an artist to begin at an early age. Christian’s continuing desire to deconstruct his world to its most basic parts has much to do with his research for the truth. He strips things down of all artifice until what is before you is the pure essence of the subject. It is not always pretty but in the end it is honest. He aims to explore the light and dark places of the human psyche.

His subject choices are atypical; his aesthetic harkens more to the streetwise Diane Arbus and anthropological August Sander.

His current projects include the massive 20-year study of the people of India; his body of work in Ethiopia spanning 10 years; his work on the Thai Ladyboy; and the newly completed prototype for his first book titled Ordinary Beauty, the culmination of 25 years of portraiture of the subject of women. 

He has a ceaseless and constant desire to explore the unknown and eliminate boundaries. Christian’s work remains an iconic contemporary exploration of the human condition. 

Christian’s work appears in major magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Travel + Leisure. His work has been used to create landmark campaigns for IBM, Nike, GAP, AMEX, RED, Kodak and Levi’s.






15th International Fashion Photography Festival, Paris - France 1994

Soho Journal - "Transcendence 1995-1996" - USA 1996

American Photography 12 - USA 1996

Terry Jones - "Catching the Moment" - UK 1997

Dolce & Gabbana - Wildness - UK 1997

Aperture Magazine - "Delerium" No.147 - USA 1997

Mode: Models, International Fashion Photography Festival Japan - Japan 1998

i-D Magazine - Best of i-D - UK 2000

American Photography 17 - USA 2001

Sock Bandit Publications - Hip Hop Immortals Vol. 1 - USA 2001

Abrams - Vibe - VX: 10 years of Vibe Photography - USA 2002

Powerhouse Books - The Blue Jean Book - USA 2002

Next Level Magazine - Christian Witkin - UK 2002

Ogilvy & Mather - Brotherhood - USA 2002

SKeGROUP - Water Culture - USA 2003

20 Years of Style - The World according to Paper - USA 2004

L´Oréal Paris - Because I’m Worth It - USA 2004

Phaidon Press - 2wice Dance - USA 2004

Melcher Media - GAP Individuals, Portraits From the GAP collection - USA 2006

Un-Titled Project - "The Ethiopian Male" issue No.1 - USA 2010

Un-Titled Project - "The Thai Ladyboy" issue No.3 - USA 2011

Kerber Verlag, The Opéra - "Fragments" vol.1 - Germany 2012



Cazenovia College Chapman Art Center Gallery - "Father and Son 2-man show"  (with painter father Jerome Witkin) - Cazenovia, NY  1991    group show

Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center - "Black &White portraits" - Auburn, NY  1991     solo show

The Lightner Gallery - "NYC Street Phototgraphs" - Keuka College, Keuke Park, NY  1992    solo show 

Community College of the Finger Lakes, Gallery 34 - "NYC Street Photographs" - Canandaigua, NY  1992    solo show

Nikon House - "Selected Works from the APA 2nd Annual Advertising Awards" - New York, NY  1992    group show

Outdoor Museum of Art, Northside, Williamsburg - NYC Street Photographs" - Brooklyn, NY  1993    group show

The Worx, Kings Road - Fashion Acts, LTD - "Fashion Exposures" - London, UK  1993    group show 

Le Carousel du Louvre - 15th International Fashion Photography Festival - Paris, France  1994    group show

Amsterdam Center for Photography - "Street photographs : New York and India" - Amsterdam, The Netherlands  1995    solo show

Amsterdams Gas Fabriek - "Solar Photographers Group Show" - Amsterdam, The Netherlands  1996    group show

Ricco/Maresca Gallery - "Delerium" - New York, NY  1996    groupshow

International Fashion Photography Festival Japan - "Fashion meets Portraiture" - festival featured artist

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe - "Dedications to Helmut Newton"- Hamburg, Germany  2001    group show

Lincoln Center Clark Studio Theatre - "2wice Magazine Photography Show" - New York, NY  2004    group show

Boltax Gallery - "Room of Silence and Observation" - Shelter Island, NY 2004    solo show

AIGA National Design Center NY - "Everybody Dance Now : 20 Years of Dance in Print" -New York, NY  2009    group show

New York Photo Festival 12 - "the Curse and the Gift" (curated by Claude Grunitzky) - Dumbo, Brooklyn,  NY  2012    show featured artist

Chelsea Arts Club - "Traveling Group Show" - London, UK  2012    group show


workshops, lectures and talks

Palm Springs Photo Festival - Street Portrait Workshop - Palm Springs, FL  1997

Pasadena College of Art and Design - Lecture on work - Pasadena, CA  2002

 School of Visual Arts - Lecture on work - New York, NY  2003

School of Visual Arts - Lecture on work - New York, NY  2004

Santa Fe Photography Workshops - Portraiture workshop in conjunction with Norman Jean Roy - Santa Fe, NM  2011



Photo District News - Gold in Self Promotion - 1994  

Photo District News - Gold in Editorial (Vibe) - 1994

The New York Times - The Art Directors Club Honor - 1996

The Deadline Club - Excellence in Journalism, Best Feature Photo, New York Magazine "Being Human" - May 1996

American Photography 12 : “The wild bunch” - 1996

International Fashion Photography Festival Japan - "Best Photographer 1999" - Tokyo, Japan 1999

SPD -  36th Publication Design Competition - Portrait Story Winner -  2000

Mead Show - 45th Annual Show Winner -  2001

American Photography 17 Winner -  2002



Bibliotheque National de France - Paris

Maison Européenne de la Photographie - Paris