Susanne Bartsch Embraces Her Inner Club Child

Susanne Bartsch Embraces Her Inner Club Child

New York nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch is known for being the life of the party from her extravagant, campy looks to her larger than life attitude, which is exactly what makes her the perfect muse for photographer Jordan Millington's latest series.

Millington's exhibition, Evolution of Innocence, uses the lens of childhood as a fun, more playful way at looking at the world as an adult — and what better person to do that than a club kid like Bartsch? Full of colorful outfits and fantastical settings that can take a chaotic and destructive turn, the series feels like a natural amplification of Bartsch's ethos as a legendary party host, finding ways to marry fantasy and whimsy with looks that are both editorial and engaging.

"There’s two parts from my personal life that influenced this story," Jordan Millington explains. "The first, an innocent child playing and having fun with no real definition to what’s going on around them. The second, the dark and heavy energy we can go through as adults. Half of the images are of Susanne playing pretend, watering plants, a picnic with her insect friends and floating down a quiet stream on a leaf. In the darker images, she’s full of angst, anxiety and madness. In this portion, she’s surrounded by large ink blots that represent the state of her mind, laying on a bed on nails, walking though her dilapidated old home while wearing a wedding dress, and feeling the bitter sadness that mental illness and unfortunate events can cause in our lives."

The photographer goes on to add, "Susanne was a blast to shoot with! She carries herself with so much love and light and always has a level of humor and joy to her. Even when we had to dive into the darker emotions, she’s always able to make a joke in the middle of shooting that would cause all of us to break out into laughter.”

Jordan Millington and Susanne Bartsch's "Evolution of Innocence" is set to open this Friday, January 14 at Lume Studio, New York.

Photography: Jordan Millington