Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans is a German fine-art photographer. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations. Tillmans was considered the documentarian of his generation, especially that of the London club and gay scenes. Half of his work is staged, with the artist choosing the clothes and the location, as well as setting his models up in their positions. The series of his friends Lutz and Alex, also published in i-D in 1992, are considered important photographic documents of the 1990s. Tillmans’ photographic practice subsequently developed to encompass a wide array of genres. His portraits, still life’s, sky photographs, astrophotography, aerial shots and landscapes are motivated equally by aesthetic and political interests, especially related to homosexuality and gender identity.


Wolgang’s work is difficult for me to get along with. Fine art is not my cup of tea. I can never find any hidden meaning or understand the point of the ‘messiness’ of the art style. Fine-art photography is somewhat misplaced to me as well, I assume the art is the content within the photograph that’s been taken, therefore it is just a photo of art, not the photography which the art. On the discussion of Tillmans’ photography style and technique, it shows in his photos that he has great camera control. Each photo has been taken as though it belongs in a magazine. Which I can only assume where his influence comes from. His images have a great white balance, very styled, modern. In terms of reportage, political is always an obvious choice to delve into, reporting political events or using situations to create advertising. I much prefer this to the fine art pieces as I understand it better.


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