Heide Hatry grew up on a pig farm in the south of Germany. She left home at the age of 15 to enroll in a sports school. She studied art at various German art schools and art history at the University of Heidelberg. She taught at a private art school for 15 years while simultaneously conducting an international business as an antiquarian bookseller.
Hatryʼs serene scenes of flowers in her Not A Rose series are actually photographs of trompe lʼoeil arrangements of the offal, sex organs, and other residues of deceased animals. Their simple compositions almost recall scientific illustrations, whose directed focus on the flowersʼ anatomy heightens their fragrant aroma and delicate beauty. Her commitment to recreating the physical beauty of flowers renders the viewerʼs realization of the photographs' true materiality particularly jarring.
Since moving to New York in 2003, Hatry has curated numerous exhibitions in the United States, Germany, and Spain and has shown her own work at museums and galleries worldwide. She has produced about 200 artist's books and edited more than two-dozen books and art catalogues. Her book Skin was published by Kehrer, Heidelberg, in 2005, Heads and Tales was published by Charta, Milan/New York, in 2009 and Not a Rose also by Charta in 2012 (US 2013).