Witkin claims that his unique visual sensibilities
began to come about when, as a small child,
he witnessed a terrible car accident in front
of his home, in which a little girl was decapitated.
He recalls her head rolling to his feet, her
dead eyes staring upward. This was the chilling
feeling and mood he tries to convey in each
of his works.
Witkin was born on Sept, 13, 1939, in Brooklyn,
N.Y. His father was Jewish and his mother was
Roman Catholic. His parents were unable to transcend
their religious differences and the two divorced
when Witkin was young, the boy remaining with
his mother. He attended grammar school at Saint
Cecelia's in Brooklyn, and went on to Grover
Cleveland High School. He also cites family
difficulties as an inspiration for his work.