Hugo Tillman is a British artist known forhis eccentric photographs directed by dreams, magic, and mundane reality. With uncanny scenes that are both carefully crafted and spontaneous moments of everyday life, Tillman strives to communicate through metaphors and visual stories.
Tillman designs complete projects, beginning with intense research leading to travels abroad in search for the subjects and themes that interest him. This culminates in the production of his photographs, a complex process of staging and composition. For his three main series, Tillman has travelled throughout the world, composing projects that involve social, political, psychological and artistic issues.
With Film Stills of the Mind, he spent two years in China interviewing leading Chinese artists. From these conversations, Tillman constructed a full sized stage set of their inner psyche. He then invited the artists to perform a scene within that set and captured the images with a still camera. The pictures work as an examination of not only the artists’ psyche, but of Tillman’s psyche as well.
For a period of six days in Cuba, Tillman produced a series of interventions in Havana. The eccentricity and combination of related and unrelated elements in his mise en scènes call to mind the concept of the marvelous, a magnificent interplay between hope and reality. Daydreams of Mine is a celebration of the commonplace and extraordinary idiosyncrasy of the Cuban people.
In Tillman’s most recent work, he created a series of black photographs. The catalyst being his great-grandfather Georg Tillmann’s collection of objects, this series highlights various ancient articles found in temples and ethnographic museums throughout the world. The result is a captivating group of minimally illuminated compositions, their definition mysterious.
Born in London in 1973, Tillman moved to New York and earned a M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 2004. His has exhibited at the Guangzhou Museum of Art, China; The Today Art Museum and F2 Gallery, Beijing, China; The Birmingham Art Gallery, England; The National Portrait Gallery, London, England; Elementa Gallery, Dubai; DF2 Gallery, Los Angeles; MoMA P.S.1, New York, among others. Tillman has also participated in a number of international biennales, such as the Guangzhou Photo Biennale (2009), Guandong, China; Shanghai Biennale, Moca (2006), Shanghai, China; and Berlin Biennale (2000), Berlin, Germany. He currently lives and works in London.
2014 “Betwixt and Between,” Nohra Haime Gallery, New York 2013 “Inheritance: 6 Photographs from the Other Night Series 2013 and The Film Longan 2013,” The BAUERs Hotel, Venice, Italy
“Light Sensitive: Photographic Works from North Carolina Collection,” Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, NC 2012 “Art of Change: New Directions from China,” Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London