About

During my graphic design studies in Hamburg in the 80s, I discovered my love for photography. In addition to my professional work as a designer in the print sector, I have always worked on my own photo projects, which deal with everything created by people.

Statement

For me, photography is the suitable medium for my need for self-expression. It offers me the opportunity to develop a personal view of the world and thus make a contribution. Selecting sections from the chaos and disorder and fixing them as images seems to me to be a good strategy to gain control over the moment. I am interested in architecture, public space and interiors: places and squares that seem provisional and testify to their roots in our culture, which are ultimately traces of normal life. Through the use of normal focal lengths and mostly continuous depth of field, I strive for a documentary way of seeing that emphasizes the artificiality of the medium in its two-dimensionality. The supposedly familiar thus appears unreal - at best, things and places experience a charge that is stronger than reality. For me, this connection of subjective image design with recognizable reality constitutes tension, always in the awareness that the real is also only a construction and is not identical with what it depicts. In this context, I also like to work with the possibilities of staging: the inclusion of built models or the placement of images in the picture lead to new spaces of perception. Digital montages of set pieces and fragments of reality also allow new scenarios to emerge, reminiscent of a miniature wonderland and even more bizarre. What is decisive for me is the work on longer series - the combination of several pictures leads to a condensation of the connections, my confrontation with the world.

Education

  • 1980-85 | "Kommunikationsdesign", FH Hamburg (DE)

Selected Awards

  • 2019 | "Georg-Koppmann-Preis", Hamburg (DE)
  • 2010 | "Dummy Award", 3. Preis, Fotobookfestival Kassel (DE)

Selected Exhibitions/Publications

  • 2014| Galerie im Foyer, Pforzheim (DE)
  • 2012 | FHV-Galerie, Dornbirn (AT)
  • 2011 | Fotopension, Köln (DE)
  • 2011 | Kunstverein, Wiesbaden (DE)
  • 2006 | Kulturforum, Lüneburg (DE)
  • 1985 | Foyer FH Hamburg, Hamburg (DE)

Personal Website

http://www.axelbeyer.de

Galleries

Axel Beyer | BEBRA CURIOSA (2008 - 2010)

Axel Beyer | BEBRA CURIOSA (2008 - 2010)

The project „Bebra curiosa“ arose from my personal relationship to this place in Hessen: My wife was born here and my parents-in-law lived here. On my first visit, I felt called upon to document this small town photographically. After reviewing the material, the idea was born to blur the boundaries between the inner and outer world through visual montages. I had in mind a miniature wonderland in which the „bebraistic cosmos“ is taken to extremes. What is real, what is assembled? My aim in the project was to condense the absurdities of many scenes into a substrate and at the same time convey the special atmosphere of this place. At the Dummy-Award of the Photobookfestival in Kassel 2010, the project was awarded the 3rd prize and was published by Seltmann & Söhne.

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Axel Beyer | KALI MANIA (2011 - 2018)

Axel Beyer | KALI MANIA (2011 - 2018)

The colloquial term „MONTE KALI“ refers to an artificially created mountain near Heringen in Hessen. It consists of millions of tons of piled up overburden salt and towers 200 meters above the surrounding area with its summit plateau. More than 10,000 visitors climb the slagheap every year. The grey-white mountain dominates the surroundings along the former inner-German border. The omnipresence of the artificial mountain and the partly scenic houses create a very special atmosphere of this region. Street and mountain views combine to form a special pictorial space that is characterized by a strong artificiality. Through the combination of documentary views and spatially staged Polaroid shots and models of the slagheap, reality and fiction meet in this photo series.

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Axel Beyer | CITY SPACES (1983 - 1987)

Axel Beyer | CITY SPACES (1983 - 1987)

The photo series „CITY SPACES“ goes back to my final thesis at the FHS für Gestaltung in Hamburg. In the period between 1983 and 1987 an extensive work arose in which I dealt photographically with my hometown Hamburg. My search was aimed at such places, which on the one hand reflected familiar everyday life, but at the same time emanated a special pictorial climate. At that time I was strongly inspired by the New Topographics from America but also by Wilhelm Schürmann from Aachen. I later digitalized the analogue 6x7 slides and produced a photo book about the service provider Blurb. Over the long period of more than 30 years, this work has a special documentary value for me and is still a starting point for my work today, see gallery 4.

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Axel Beyer | TEMPORARY INSIGHTS (2019)

Axel Beyer | TEMPORARY INSIGHTS (2019)

As part of the Georg Koppmann Prize, which was awarded for the first time by the Hamburg Historical Museums Foundation for the year 2019, I was able to spend six months photographing the dynamic transformation of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. My series „TEMPORARY INSIGHTS“ deals with new lines of sight and unexpected insights into the cityscape resulting from the demolition or conversion of buildings and streets. With these temporary and spatially limited insights into living spaces, backyards and places of work, an architecture of the city is to be captured that otherwise remains hidden from the eyes of the beholder. The result will be presented in the form of a printed brochure and an exhibition.

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