Albrecht Tübke is one of the most celebrated young photographers at work today in Europe. Several of Tübkes recent series of portraiture appear at once strikingly innovative and deceptively simple. His subjects, framed in situ in their own attire, have been given the chance to pose for the camera. Their choice of stance and gaze embody their own multifaceted public persona, which exists to mask or accentuate individual identity.
In his Pulica series from 2004, Tübke's subjects are at home in their environment. Theirs is a world where functionality and fashion co-mingle in the spectrum of Tuscan village life, where one may search for reflections of archetypal Italy in the public faof so many distinct personalities and generations.
More recently, Tübke has turned to the city to investigate how one presents his or her individual identity in the mass confusion of urban stereotypes. Donna (2008) invited women to engage with the camera, while letting the viewer ponder their choice of outfits and accessories and how these may relate anything of the individual within. In the past year, Tübke has returned to the streets of Italy in his celebrated new Personae (2009-2010) series, examining urbanites of both sexes in a virtual competition for self expression and assertion of identity.
All of Tübkes recent portraits have employed neutral backgrounds of street and wall, which have become both a stage for personal expression and also a conceptual framework documenting aspects of contemporary Europe. As the artist has stated:
"I want to show people from a variety of different backgrounds, as I am interested in the range of ways in which people present their public face. Though constant exposure to the multitude of public personae with which we are presented, we have become anaesthetised to the range of individuals that surround us. In this project, I am attempting to distil something of the essence of that individual."
Originally from Leipzig, Germany, Tübke trained at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig before completing his MA at Guildhall University of London. His work has been included in numerous prestigious exhibitions in Europe, among others Animalism at the National Media Museum in Bradford, How We Are: Photographing Britain at the Tate Britain, Zeit, Raum, Bild at the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, and New Photographers 2006 at Antwerp's Museum voor Fotografie. His work can be seen in the public collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Centre National de l'Audiovisuel, Luxembourg and the National Media Museum, Bradford.
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