Hans Peter Riegel
*1959 Düsseldorf, Germany
He lives in Zurich, Switzerland, works with painting, photography, prints, installation and video.
About the Work
Hans Peter Riegel became known to the public as an author, first and foremost. His biography of artist Joseph Beuys, published in 2013, drew much attention and now is among the most reviewed books of its kind in the recent history of German-language literature.
Little known to date is the extensive photographic work of Hans Peter Riegel. When still a photography student, Riegel shot portraits of artists while interviewing them for a city magazine whose editor he was at the time. It was the famous German painter Jörg Immendorff who recognised the young photographer's talent during such a portrait shoot. Immendorff, later himself the subject of a biography by Riegel, hired him as an assistant and photographic documentarist. Even during his career as an art director, Riegel never put his camera down, taking photographs for campaigns and publications.
Early on, Riegel focused on photography with small, low-technology snapshot cameras which he keeps on hand wherever he goes. Over time, Riegel developed the random, laconic aspect of his snapshots into a stylistic principle, to the point of abandoning photographic direction altogether. Arguably, his is a deconstructive approach to photography, one which navigates the borderline between photography and conceptual art.