Stefan Thiel – 100 Berlin Based Men
Stefan Thiel is an artist working in Berlin. He is famous for creating paper cut outs and black and white silhouettes of men. The harsh black and white contrast in his pictures leads to an intensified precision and highlights the beauty of the male form. His exhibition, 100 Berlin Based Men, showing at Schwules Museum until June 25th, caught our attention; first of all because of the attractive selection of men, but also because many of the models were found by Thiel on ROMEO.
Thiel’s famous paper cuts are already housed in large private collections as well as major museums and institutions in the US, Australia and Europe. You can also find them in the collections of the German Bundestag and the Berlin National Gallery.
“My work is primarily about how people portray themselves in order to appear attractive, and how they do that on the internet.” – Stefan Thiel
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Thiel presents silhouettes of drag kings, straight, and gay men. Within four years, what began as a small unspectacular investigation of male poses, transformed into a masterpiece of 140 individual works. The collection comprises a diverse group of characters captured as self-portrayals, from Stefan Thiel’s circle of acquaintances, the Berlin scene, and our own dating platform, ROMEO.
Circle of Friends
The exhibition is an artificial trophy collection, an anonymous, yet intimate circle of friends from transsexuals, members of a rugby club, bodybuilders, dancers, porn actors, Thiel’s art dealers from Berlin and Sydney, and many people from the well-known Berlin club scene.
Reflected in his work
As part of the collection of Schwules Museum, 100 Berlin Based Men has become an archive within an archive. In our individual search for familiar bodies, we sharpen our view of ourselves and our own projections. As we stand in front of Thiel’s paper cuts, like the chained men in Plato’s cave, the paper cut works like a black hole. We only recognize it’s outer edge, and it absorbs all our projections into itself, and reflects the energies of our own fears and desires. The question is what do you see? And can you see yourself in this work?
“I notice very often that young people have no self-awareness anymore and live only by the reflections of their own images.” Stefan Thiel
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