Surreal Topographies

Surreal Topographies

German artist Thomas Wrede (b. 1963) is influenced by how nature is presented within today’s media. His innovative works reproduce various topographies, traversing the lines between simulation and reality by manufacturing the colossal through the miniature. Speaking to Aesthetica, Wrede discusses his practice.

“In Real Landscapes, I grapple with the boundaries between artifice and reality. In these large-scale colour photographs, the world is rendered as a sort of model kit, as a great stage on a reduced scale, somewhere between idyll and catastrophe.”

“Small model houses and toys are placed in natural topographies, so that a puddle becomes a lake, and a pile of dirt becomes a mountain.”

“My images look at the real and surreal, and the places inbetween, building upon photography as a medium that documents a specific moment in time.”

“In an overview of my career, stories about our relationship with nature emerge – whether ironic or factual, amusing or dramatic.”

A new publication, entitled Sceneries, is available from Kehrer Verlag. Find out more here. 

1. Thomas Wrede, detail of City on the Lake, 2018. 95cm x 135cm / 170cm x 240cm, series: Real Landscapes. Courtesy of the artist, Beck & Eggeling, Düsseldorf; Mike Karstens, Münster and Wagner + Partner, Berlin.
2. Thomas Wrede, Football Pitch, 2008. 95cm x 120cm / 140cm x 180cm. From the series Real Landscapes.
3. Nordamerikanische Felsenlandschaft mit Kakteen, Bottrop-Kirchhellen, 1997 © 2018 Thomas Wrede, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
4. Thomas Wrede, Above the Valley, 2009. 95cm x 129cm / 170cm x 210cm. From the series Real Landscapes.
5. Nach der Flut 1, 2012 © 2018 Thomas Wrede, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
6. Thomas Wrede, The Luminous Screen, 2015. 95cm x 130cm / 140cm x 190cm. From the series Real Landscapes.