The Eiffel Tower in Paris, which seems to dance, landscapes, which start to sway and buildings, which shine in black and white staged in new splendor. All these contemporary artistic interpretations are features of a well-known contemporary freelance artist from Siegen, who has often represented Siegerland in galleries around the world. Thomas Kellner turned to art and photography at an early age and today enriches us with his very own interpretation of perception and illusion. Especially the works with the help of his contact sheets challenge many to dare a closer look and also to look behind the facade of the image.
But Kellner got his start in painting as a young child and student. He studied art, sociology, politics and economics at the University of Siegen; through his professor Juergen Koenigs, he discovered photography with the pinhole camera for himself, which he eventually exchanged for the SLR camera.
Then, in 1996, when he was awarded the Kodak Young Talent Award, he took the plunge to become a professional contemporary artist. In the years that followed, he developed an affinity for architecture and cubism, as well as his iconic methodology of using contact sheets. His unique technique has a high recognition value, as he awakens each image into something new with great attention to detail and imagination. His multi-perspectival and deconstructivist language, which makes forms of movement visible in the image, has since been interpreted in new and different ways. Prof. Irina Chymreva, for example, calls his paintings a "visual analytical synthesis," while Rolf Sachsse sees him as a perfect representative of modern Mannerism.
His numerous pinhole camera projects, which also included portraits, also show how no two images are alike and open up new avenues into the world of contemporary fine art photography.
When Thomas is not in Siegen, he explores the world in search of new, impressive buildings that can serve as photo inspiration. Whether in the USA, Russia or China, he finds captivating motifs and breathtaking landscapes everywhere, which he can translate into his own personal language. It also attracts the attention of local museums and studios that want to exhibit his work, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston or the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro.
Curator of contemporary art projects
Outside of his work as an contemporary artist, he also devotes himself to working as a curator. Even though he sees himself more as a networker who simply wants to bring people and images together, he organized the project photographers:network as early as 2004. His work as a curator also found favor in America, where he was invited three times to portfolio meetings, followed by further invitations to Brazil, China, Russia and also Germany. Other ideas that he has already been able to implement are: the Brauhaus Fotografie at the University of Siegen, the art summer, the art day or also twoseven+.
Before the artist moved to his new studio in Blücherstraße, he was closely associated with the studio in Friedrichstraße, which was stage to present many of his exhibitions and contemporaryartworks. From 1998 to 2019 he was always to be found there and offered, among other things, open studio days or even the Artcamp, both of which took place in his own studio. And also already in the Friedrichstraße he already got diligent help. Since 2009, Thomas Kellner has also received support from interns, who actively support him and also have the opportunity to learn and take away a lot of new things.
Contemporary art by the Bechers
Loyalty and passion for his art characterize the independent contemporary artist then as well as now. He also enjoys the freedom that comes with being self-employed, as travel is also part of his job. So he has the chance to visit all seven continents and yet not to forget or neglect his roots in Siegen. Especially his last project of Siegen's half-timbered houses, which had been photographed by the Bechers years before, and also his commitment to the structural change in the city itself once again emphasize his loyalty to his home.
We can be especially excited about his future plans. Great plans are in development, just waiting to finally be released to the public. And especially one is eagerly waiting for his next project and that is Thomas Kellner himself. Because not only new adventures have to be tackled, but also earlier projects have to be completed. So the project about monuments is still waiting for its completion, but he has to plan many journeys before he can reach this goal.
Despite many setbacks, crises and a move, he has always remained true to his contemporary art and also to his home Siegen.