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The dream of flying is given a twist – Thomas Eigel applies a classic, formalistic approach to the aeroplane, a subject that has fascinated mankind since long before the adventures of Amelia Earhart or the Wright brothers.
The artist captured these powerful machines from below during take-off and landing, and in doing so detached them from their usual context. He was particularly fascinated by the interaction of shapes and colours – a display he makes visible by isolating the planes from their backgrounds.
The cut-out technique, a modern variation of the silhouette, has a long tradition in art history – the most famous adherent of this medium was Henri Matisse. In recent years, the contemporary art scene has fallen back in love with the art form, with Alex Katz being a prominent example.
Another extraordinary aspect of Eigel’s aeroplanes is that there are multiple ways to display them. Not only can these planes be mounted on the wall, but also hung from the ceiling. This innovative installation was developed through a collaboration between our curators, our photo lab technicians, and our engineering team.
What in the harbors of the world would be nothing more than a gigantic pyramid of stacked merchandise, turns out, upon closer look, to be a system of individual building blocks. The Hamburg photographer Thomas Eigel has stayed true to his subject of aesthetic abstraction. In an exact 4x4 format, he photographed the front side of overseas containers. The result is astounding: lackluster containers transform into mysterious, quadratic front pieces with all sorts of unique characteristics. Colors, fittings, logos, signs, and other extras tell the story of a trip around the world. One could even say: only the famous racing cars of the 1970s were more stylish.
Vinyl LPs culturally influenced an entire generation. Music as a way of life, an extension of perception, a way of bringing visual dreams and fantasies to life. Spinning the lyrical disc as a door opener to the soul, as the expression of a feeling, more than just the daily world can be found in a person’s soul. Thomas Eigel (*1959), who studied ethnology, today lives and works as a photographer in Cologne and Berlin. His series “Turntables” ably refers to this historical reference of pop and music culture. Eigel plays with the abstract just as he does with the psychedelic from the era. His round-cut objects are optical illusions. Sometimes we seem to lose ourselves in the rapid whir of the spinning, but then we suddenly recognize pictures and shapes that are slumbering within ourselves. Do the circles of color open a space deep within the wall itself, or do they seem to come out towards us? “Design art” is currently the trend. Thomas Eigel’s “Turntables” are a particularly successful artistic example thereof! And evidence of how today’s artists can restore the fundamental thoughts behind Pop art of the still young century to a new vitality and timeliness. Pop after all means nothing more than conceptually and playfully alienating elements of pop culture and transforming them with one’s own vision into art.
“With the work group ‘Turntable’ Thomas Eigel introduces the recognition of the unrecognizable toward the borders of physics and psychedelics. Disassociated from any connection to elements of reality, the work is sharp; dynamic color spirals with high-gloss surfaces. Photographic arrangements with a pronounced consciousness for color tones, digitally cut, ‘Turntable’ strikes the sensual potency of nonrepresentational painting.”
1959 Born 1980 Completion of secondary school 1980-86 Studies in ethnology, classical archaeology, philosophy, and communication at the Friedrich Wilhelm Universität zu Bonn 1986 freelance photographer 1998 opening of EIGEL STUDIOS advertising agency Lives and works (self-employed photographer) in Hamburg, GermanyExhibitions
2009 Maison Alexandre, Kunsthöfe, Berlin, Germany sichtbar, Elbrausch, Hamburg, Germany 2008 dark star, Landtag NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany 2007 Fine Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany Videokunst im Umspannwerk, Berlin, Germany Galerie Jan Schlütter, Cologne Liste Köln, Cologne eyes wide open, Galerie Vero Wollmann, Stuttgart
“Colour Summer,” Young Gallery, Brussels 2005 “Lisalounge,” Crowne Plaza City Centre, Cologne “Conversions,” Young Gallery, Brussels 2004 ShowRooms, Cologne “Homage an Eve Klein,” Taurus & Twins, Cologne Exhibition, Crowne Plaza City Centre, Cologne 2003 “Art Photography,” Vintage Gallery, Cologne
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