Thomas Demand

Biography of Thomas Demand

Thomas Demand (born 1964 in Munich, DE) is a German sculptor, photographer, and filmmaker currently living and working in Berlin, Los Angeles and Hamburg, where he teaches at the University of Fine Arts.

Demand frequently rips the subjects of Thomas Demand’s most recognized works—large-scale photographs of paper and cardboard installations—right from the headlines of the popular press. Among his topics the Paris tunnel where Princess Diana was involved in a fatal accident or Saddam Hussein's hideout in Iraq. Once photographed, almost all of these constructed installations are destroyed, further complicating the relationship between reproduction and original that his photography investigates.

With Thomas Demand’s images, Thomas Demand has deconstructed photography as the dominant visual medium of our time. The act of physically building a model after a photograph and then re-photographing the re-construction obstructs the link between represented and representation, leaving us uncertain about authenticity and what it is we are really seeing. Having initially trained as a sculptor under Fritz Schwegler, Demand began to explore the idea of architectural models at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, drawing on the imagery and subject matter popular with the Düsseldorf School of Photography, but adapted it to his own style and concept. He has experienced international acclaim and exhibited his works in solo exhibitions in New York (2005), Berlin (2009) and Tokyo (2012). He also represented Germany at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and the São Paulo Biennial in 2004. 

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