Wolfgang Tillmans
To look without fear

Giovanni Aloi
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
September 12, 2022–January 1, 2023
Wolfgang TillmansTo look without fear, exhibition view,
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2022.
Photo: Emile Askey, courtesy of
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
September 12, 2022–January 1, 2023
[En anglais]

Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” and Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” were playing back to back on the radio. The first season of Friends was on TV. O. J. Simpson was declared “not guilty.” It was 1995, the year Wolfgang Tillmans’s first photobook (published by Taschen) hit the shelves. It caught my attention as I was browsing in a bookshop in Milan; the front cover featuring the now-iconic Suzanne & Lutz, white dress, army skirt (1993) was intriguing.

The image was so fresh, and different — a boy wearing a skirt! A closeted gay boy with no gay friends, terrified by the homophobic climate that dominated Italy, I reached for the book with trepidation. I flicked through the first few pages and was instantly captivated: image after image, Tillmans’s photographic eye spoke of the present like nothing I had seen before. It wasn’t just the occasional shot of a naked hot boy that piqued my interest, although I appreciated the inclusion. The composition, colours, cropping, characters, the still lifes: every genre I had studied in mostly tedious art history classes was effortlessly stripped of its conventional mystique and reinvented for the 1990s. The energy, irreverence, and optimism. It was the perfect mix of classical and punk. Page after page, the book revealed the existence of a youth culture that I dreamed of but never knew really existed.

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Pages intérieures Esse 107 Famille
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