°1964, Munich (DE) – lives and works in Berlin (DE) and Los Angeles (US)
Thomas Demand combines craftsmanship and conceptualism to create inventive photographs of his meticulously fabricated life-size paper models depicting both historical and contemporary scenes.
Regarding photography as a “constructed reality,” Demand starts with a preexisting image usually, but not always, culled from the media. These can be scenes from German history as well as from current events, such as the 2000 American presidential election. He then translates the images into life-size paper models, using colored paper and cardboard to re-create entire rooms, parking lots, facades, and hallways and to simulate such diverse materials as wood, plastic, metal, and cloth. Despite the illusions he creates, the artist deliberately leaves minute imperfections visible, and the lack of detail and the uniform lighting reveal the models as constructions. The resulting photograph challenges the viewer’s perception of reality. Once photographed, the models are destroyed.
Initially trained as a sculptor, Demand began photographing his ephemeral constructions for documentation, but by 1993, the paper constructions were designed expressly for photography. He photographs the models with a large-format camera equipped with a telescopic lens for enhanced resolution and heightened realism. The large-scale photographs are displayed behind Plexiglas and without a frame.
(courtesy of MoMA, New York)
Thomas Demand is one of the most innovative artists of his generation. He has solo exhibitions at MoMa, New York; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; LACMA, Los Angeles; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek; Kunsthalle Zürich; and Serpentine Gallery, London. Group shows include Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Fondazione Prada, Milan; and MOCA, Los Angeles.
Demand also participated to the biennales of São Paulo, Venice, Gwangju, Shanghai, Berlin, Taipei, Lyon and Sydney.
Thomas Demand is represented by the following galleries;
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You can also discover more of Thomas Demand’s work on his own website.