Thomas Demand studied sculpture at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. In 1994 he received his MA Fine Arts from Goldsmith‘s College, London.
Thomas Demand is known for his large-scale photographs, which explore the slippage between reality and fiction. Demand begins his research for every new work by selecting a pre-existing photograph from various sources; the media, history books or from Demand’s own family archive. The artist usually studies the photograph for some time and he often attempts to find out who the photographer is and searches for other related images. He then builds, in his studio, a three-dimensional, life-sized model based on the photograph. The model is made solely out of cardboard and paper. When the model is finished, Demand photographs it. The model exists only to be photographed, as it is destroyed afterward. Demand then exhibits, as his work, a large-scale photograph of the model. In the course of his practice, the artist invites us to understand what we are looking at, and in turn to become conscious of our process of understanding.
Thomas Demand has had solo exhibitions at such prestigious institutions as Lennbachhaus, Munich, 2003; Castelo de Rivoli, Turin, 2003; and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2001. His work has been included in many group exhibitions as: Venice Biennale 2003, Venice; Mirror’s Edge, BildMuseet, Umeå, Sweden, 2000; Carnegie International 1999/2000, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Open Ends, 2000, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Demand’s work is in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim, New York and Tate, London.
He currently lives and works in Berlin.