“Leaving the brush behind for the camera, Kerstin Zu Pan nevertheless wields a creative hand in all her work—from beauty to portraits to travel. Kerstin makes it a point to create a story behind what she does, a trait that has set her apart as one of Berlin’s most original photographers. Beauty in unusual circumstances comes easily to the camera of Kerstin zu Pan. Her photos are moments amid stories – playful wild stories that leave the reviewer guessing. Her work is expressive, ebulliant, and strange. There is always more here than is apparent at first glance.” This is how Clayton Maxwell described the work of Kerstin Zu Pan in Eyemazing.
And we can say that this description is pretty much faithful to the Kerstin’s work, and of the best examples of these moments and stories is her project so-called “The Ultimate Travel Diary”, that began as an eloborate joke with some of her Bavarian friends and soon became a lifelong project, where the photographer travels the world dressed in a dirndl, portraying herself as a cliché Oktoberfest girl. The classical “Dirndl” dress soon became her most important companion wherever she travels by profession – or by wanderlust. Being used to work behind the camera, Kerstin zu Pan, or Zuppi, as she calls herself, became her own model – using inspiring sceneries around the globe for her witty self-stagings.
She had been a painter all her life, but it wasn’t until she studied Arts that she really fell in love with photography. Normally working behind the camera, she has become her own model, using inspiring sceneries from around the world as the backdrop for her ironic self-portraits. The project has taken her to far flung places such as Kolmanskop in Namibia, a ghost town in a sandy desert, which Zuppi enjoyed for its wonderfully surreal atmosphere.
Kerstin zu Pan has stated that the project will continue indefinitely, until either the dress or the artist herself falls apart.