Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968, Remscheid, Germany) is one of the most popular, influential, and widely discussed contemporary photographers.
“I think that intending to be subversive often has the opposite result. But I am interested in reversing thoughts and questioning assumptions, which of course is subversive, because the hardest thing for all of us is to change our point of view, or to change our behavior. I want to be very aware of how my mind functions, and to play with expectations.” Deeply influenced by the youth culture of London after a visit when he was 14, Tillmans first established himself through portraits capturing the visceral, often discomforting yet deeply emotional nature of the 1980s subcultures, outcasted groups and the London club and gay scenes. He then moved on to a wider array of genres, including landscapes, abstraction, and still lifes.
Tillmans has held solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1 (New York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Tate Britain, and the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. He lives and works in London and Berlin.