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Wolfgang Tillmans

Artist Factory


was born in Remscheid in 1968. He lives and works alternately in Berlin and London.

Associated modules

Wolfgang Tillmans tries to better understand photography as a medium, and experiments intensively with it. For example, he explores how the light in a darkroom—a room where films are developed—can look on photographic paper, or what effects chemical and mechanical techniques have in photography. Abstract pictures emerge as a result.

In 1993, at the age of 24, Wolfgang Tillmans had just graduated from art college and moved to London. With his camera, he captured the people and events of his surroundings. Among them were his friends from the techno scene, the first love parades and gay pride events, musicians and revelers who danced at raves all night long. His photographs document the spirit of a young generation hoping for social change after the fall of the Berlin Wall.


What hopes, fears, and political beliefs shape your generation?

Actively standing up for his convictions is very important to Wolfgang. In 2017 he founded “Between Bridges”, a foundation to promote democracy, international understanding, the arts and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual persons.


Artwork Factory

Artwork Wolfgang Tillmans, Buchholz & Buchholz Installation 1993, 1993

This room represents an exact replica of the Buchholz & Buchholz Gallery, where Wolfgang Tillmans exhibited his photographs in 1993. Here the artist tested a form of presentation in which photographs, photocopies, and reproductions of magazine pages stand side by side on an equal footing and are distributed throughout the room.


How do you express your convictions?


Can art be considered separately from the political and social positions of artists? Does the private individual play a role?

The 1990s were formative for Wolfgang. The rave scene, to which he himself belonged, considered itself to be a peaceful movement in which tolerance and acceptance, but also pleasure, lust and ecstasy were important. Dance and electronic music formed a central part of the culture.

As a teenager, Wolfgang Tillmans and his friends eagerly awaited the latest issue of the British style and fashion magazine “i-D”. As a young adult, he traveled a lot in order to photograph the youth culture of Europe. A few years later, his own photos would be published in the magazine that was once so important to him. Among them photos showing his good friends, artist Alexandra Bircken and fashion designer Lutz Huelle.