Klaus Laubmayer (born November 1951, Duesseldorf-Flingern) is a German artist and photographer. His strong influences of German post-war identity, collective history, and the created silence and self-deception of society, embossed Laubmayer in particular to trust his eyes rather than the German-Trustees and their words.
In the early 1970s, he studied stage design and film with Prof. Wolf Jürgen Seesselberg at the Kunstakademie Duesseldorf. Engaging interest in photography, which was not a field of study at the Kunstakademie, and the influence of his tutelage under Joseph Beuys, Laubmayer entered a photographer’s apprenticeship with Klaus P. Ohlenforst and Joop Grijpink.
At the end of the 1970s, Laubmayer began to create temporary large-scale installations into landscapes on the volcanic island of Lanzarote and Ibiza. He created surrealistic temporary installations to achieve the final photographic artwork. Laubmayer deliberately challenged the notion of what was considered contemporary art, and was groundbreaking at a time when photography was all but not valued as contemporary art.
In the early 1980s, he moved to New York where he lived and worked until 2004.
Laubmayer's imagination is wide ranging, incorporating symbolic potency including earth, sand, ice, clay, ashes, gold leaf, and flour to create human sculptures, aiming to provoke an emotional and psychological effect on the subject and the viewer.
His color sensitivity, forms, shapes, and scale are direct references to aspects such as the industrial surroundings of his childhood and the vast visual transformation of the industrial rebuilding in the Ruhrgebiet. Hence, Laubmayer engaged vehemently with the Nordic and Germanic Sagas, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and especially the Operas.
Laubmayer's photographic works incorporate theatrical installation, conceptual art, portraiture, beauty, and fashion photography and includes the Guggenheim Museums, NY-Times, Time Magazine, Vogue, Interview, US Magazine, Allure, Details, Stern, Newsweek, Esquire, Elle, LA Style, Playboy, Amica, Abrams Books, Ullstein, Rizzolli, Simon & Schuster, NBC, MSNBC, ARD, RTL, among others.
In 2001, Laubmayer got intensely involved in filming the terror attack of the World Trade Center, just a few blocks away from his studio. In the aftermath, he became anxious to explore his inner self as an artist outside the fashion world and subsequently lost he’s roots in New York.
Laubmayer's focal point transformed into using emotions generated by words, to create photographic portraits. Taking portrait photography off the representational plane by peeling away the surface layers of a person’s appearance to reveal an inner meaning. It is a multidimensional interpretation of an interior emotional landscape. Today, Laubmayer produces most portraits applying this philosophy.
From 2004 to 2022 Laubmayer has lived and worked in Berlin, Lanzarote, Paris, Los Angeles, and London. He currently lives and works at his birthplace Duesseldorf.
© Klaus Laubmayer
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