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Nina Berman

Born 1960 in New York, New York
Lives and works in New York, New York

Nina Berman’s photographs document the rarely explored effects and harsh realities of contemporary warfare. She engages the viewer with intimate images of the consequences of war that are often given short shrift in the popular media.

The 2006 photographs on view in 2010 document the marriage of former Marine sergeant Ty Ziegel, then twenty-four, to his high school sweetheart, Renee Kline, twenty-one. After being severely disfigured in a suicide bomber’s attack while stationed in Iraq, Ty underwent fifty reconstructive operations. A plastic dome, with holes where his ears and nose used to be, replaced his shattered skull. Without any staging or direction, Berman took spontaneous photographs of Ty and Renee in the weeks leading up to their wedding day and accompanied them when they had their wedding portrait taken. Her picture of them at the portrait studio conveys an air of alienation between the couple, who separated a few months after their wedding. Berman photographed Ty again in 2008 and describes the later images as suggestive of “a comfortable acceptance with military culture despite the cost.”

Read about the artist

Artist’s website

Portraits of the Face of War
PBS News Hour (February 2010)

Showcase: The War’s Long Shadows
The New York Times Lens Blog (June 2009)

A Conversation with Nina Berman
Chicago Public Radio (February 2009)

Words Unspoken are Rendered on War’s Faces
The New York Times (August 2007)

The Iraq Wounded: Images from the Dark Side of War
Der Spiegel Online (August 2007)

The Face of War (March 2007)