ESRA ROTTHOFF, born and raised in Berlin, graduated from the renowned Berlin University of the Arts and was honored with the Meisterschule selection (equivalent of PhD in art). With a background in classical painting, and looking at cinema as ultimate inspiration, she creates photographic and video work by building spontaneous or extremely pre-meditated stages in which the people portrayed become performers (rather than models) of their own stories, and engage in a liberating creative process. The method results in magnificent, eloquent, and/or outlandish images with a distinct theatrical and cinematographic power, which have been particularly effective in public cultural initiatives, such as outdoor campaigns for the Contemporary Istanbul art fair and the Gorki Theater in Berlin.
Esra Rotthoff is represented by The Empire Project gallery in Istanbul. She exhibits and lectures internationally, from Germany to Turkey, the Netherlands, China, and the UK. Among her awards are the Gute Plakate prize (2011, 2012), the Sappi prize (2010), the Canon Professional Award (2009), the Red Dot Award (2006, 2008),the IF-award (2008, 2009), and she was twice selected for the German Design Award.