The German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans was born in Remscheid on August 16, 1968. He worked for a while in Hamburg and came into contact with the rave scene there. Tilmans began to take snapshots and portraits of the protagonists of this sub-culture with his camera. In 1988, he finished his "Approaches", altered with a laser copier.
Beginning in 1990, he studied at the English Bournemouth & Poole College of Arts & Design. During this time, the first photodiptychs emerged, and Tilmans also began to work with posed scenes. He kept working with the theme youth and subculture. Many of his direct, tabuless photographs were published in the following years in magazines such as "i-D", "Tempo" and "Prinz". A series about the "Love Parade" in Berlin in 1992 made him famous. Tilmans dealt with his immediate surroundings, his friends, and the theme of homosexuality.
In 1995 he was awarded the art prize "Ars Vita" of the Cultural Committee of German Business and the art prize "Böttcherstraße" of Bremen, and he exhibited in the Art Hall of Zurich. Two years later he became co-publisher of the magazine "Spex".
Wolfgang Tilmans turned to new subjects then: his series "Concorde" shows photographs of this "Queen of the Air" at takeoff and landing. In 1998, Tilmans taught at the Institute of Fine Arts in Hamburg, and in 2000 he received the "Turner Prize" of the Tate Gallery in London, the first photographer ever to do so.
Tilmans does not limit himself to certain themes or techniques. He presents his photographs in the most varying formats, often frameless and tacked to the wall.
However, in recent years, he has also exhibited large-format photographs in frames. "My work takes aim at the creation of a world in which I want to live", Wolfgang Tilmans says; in recent years, he has turned increasingly to more abstract motifs.
Besides holding a professorship at the State College for the Fine Arts in Frankfurt am Main, Tilmans has owned the gallery "Between Bridges" in London since 2006, through which he wants to create a platform for unknown and politically motivated artists. He lives and works in England, Cologne and New York.