Text-Portraits by Ralph Ueltzhoeffer
August 5, 2009
What do Kate Moss, Barack Obama, Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Beckham and Audrey Hepburn, amongst other famous people, share in common? They have all been text-portrayed by Ralph Ueltzhoeffer.
Ralph Ueltzhoeffer was born in 1966 in Mannheim, Germany and since 1984 he has been working as a photographer. His works range from installations, such as the web-art-project “Textportrait”, to other medias like photography and personal computers. Concentrating on human aspects, either through black and white or colour photography, the work of Ueltzhoeffer gives a different dimension and value to information and biographies. However, one might wonder what a text portrait is.
Text portrait |tekstˈpôrtrət; -,trāt|
1. A symbiosis out of text and photo, biography and portrait. A text portrait is a version of lettering and photo of a usual portrait, with the difference, that the text (e.g. biography) and the photo (e.g. passport picture) create an inseparable symbiosis. The fusion of two visually different components to a readable portrait – the text portrait.
In 2002, Ralph Ueltzhoeffer created one of the first text portraits out of the text: Wikipedia “David Beckham” with a typeface of white on black relating the result visually to the DOS input mode.