Thomas Ruff Portrait of B. Ochaim, 1989, chromogenic print.
83 x 65 in. Signed, numbered 3/4, and dated on reverse.*
Thomas Ruff has maintained a distinguished position in contemporary photography since his first series of monumental sized portraits were shown in 1991. This series generated a vast body of critical interpretations.
The artist described his motivation for the series as having to do with the German political state in the 1980s. Ironically, the photographs take on many additional associations projected by the individual viewer and the artist must have been aware of this process when he described them in an interview. "My portraits look so Appollonian because the sitters provide a perfect surface onto which the viewer can project anything, bad and good experiences alike. They're neutral and friendly, like Buddhas. They're vessels you can fill with all of your wishes and desires."