A biography of the German photographer who turned the details of everyday life into figurative works.
Born in Germany, he lived in New York and now divides his time between London and Berlin. Wolfgang Tillmans is only 44 years old, but has already an enviable career - just one example: in 2000 he was the first photographer and non-English citizen to be awarded the Turner Price.
He studied art and design in Britain; he lives in Maine and teaches at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.
On the other hand, his fascination for photography dates back to his earlier years when he shot (apparently) random places and people around him.
The first solo exhibition by Tillmans takes place in Hamburg at the end of the eighties, followed by a long series of exhibitions - monographic and collective - in Europe and beyond.
The photographer becomes the documentarist of a generation that struggles against discrimination and AIDS (he created in 1992 two series dedicated to the Gay Pride in London and the Berlin Love Parade) with an eye that takes the lesson of Diane Arbus but becomes independent in subjects and language.
He shoots near and far people and objects that, despite their simplicity, declare their membership in the art world through the perfect juxtaposition of colors, the cut and framing.
And recently, in 2011, he went to Haiti to shoot phases of post-earthquake reconstruction.
Under a more general point of view, Wolfgang is interested in the whole universe; as Josef Strau says "Tillmans seems obsessed with astronomy and physiscs, and with the changing nature and relativity of science and enlightenment itself" (1).
Terra del Fuego (2010) is a close shot that lingers on the trunks of trees crossed by beams of light in contrast with light and almost transparent shadows. Wood loses its essence to be transfigured in plastic.
Similarly, a simple cup of coffee becomes a liquid surface whose irregularities are highlighted, as if they were cracks of a dry ground and, similarly, a woman looking at the Irish cliffs creates an iconography idea that merges man and nature into one inseparable whole.
(1) Josef Strau, Alongside the abstract plane, dots and bangs of latent evidences and true relativity exposed.