Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 I believe that photography can only reproduce the surface of things. The same applies to a portrait. I take photographs of people the same way I would take photographs of a plaster bust. 
 I received my training at an art academy, so what I produce is art. That’s what is artistic about my photographs. 
 Photographs are still always depictions, it's just that for my generation the model for the photograph is probably not reality any more, but images we have of that reality. 
 In photography, you always have both the medium and the depicted subject at the same time. 
 My images are not images of reality, but show a kind of second reality, the image of the image. 
 The people have to know what my portraits are like in order to behave in such a way that the result is one of my portraits. 
 If things are the way they are, why should I try to make them look different? 
 You cannot explain the whole world in one photograph. Photography pretends. You can see everything that’s in front of the camera, but there’s always something beside it. 
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