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Thomas Ruff Biography

German photographer Thomas Ruff was born in 1958 and lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany. He is from a family of six children and hails from the Black Forest region of Germany. Ruff is renowned for conceptual serial photography and, influenced by the lectures of Benjamin HD Buchloh, he developed his own variation of this technique. He has been called a “master of edited and reimagined images”. While he was a student, Ruff began shooting landscape photographs that drew inspiration from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s, he began to photograph portraits, capturing them in the style of passport headshots, using a camera flash that didn’t have motion blur.

By the next decade, Thomas Ruff had built a reputation for using neutral backgrounds in his photos. The photography series ‘Hauser’ is one of Ruff’s best-known works, which captures the economy and architecture of his native West Germany. He is also known for ‘Sterne’, which is a collection of images of the night sky. He also produced and published a set of nude photos in the early 2000s. Ruff has exhibited in several famous art museums and galleries, including the Busan Metropolitan Art Museum in Busan, South Korea, the Ackland Art Museum in North Carolina, and the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany.

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