Born in Kiel, Germany, Thomas Hoeffgen fell in love with photography while working on a ship full of troubled youths. The job was part of his mandatory national civic service and as the boat sailed around the Canary Islands, Hoeffgen livened up the situation by making portraits of the kids, capturing spontaneous personal moments as well as the passing scenery. This was the beginning of Hoeffgen's pictorial relationship with movement, foreshadowing his enduring ability to record fleeting moments in a reduced, minimalistic, and cinematic style.
His work has been published in magazines such as Art, Blend, British Journal of Photography, ElPais, FAZ, GQ, Stern, SZ-Magazin, Spex, Instyle, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, PDN, Anglomania, Wallpaper, Zoom, NZZ, Playboy, and Outside Magazine.
He has exhibited in Hamburg (Dormoolen), Duesseldorf (NRW-Forum), Munich (Goldberg Studio), Lisbon (Canon Gallery), Paris (Galerie Jean Denis Walter), London (Annroy Gallery), the Brooklyn Museum and in Berlin's Ausweartiges Amt and Nurenberg's Kunstlerhaus.
On my first day in Nigeria—and I should add that I had been unable to secure a journalist’s visa on such short notice—the driver took me to a beautiful, sand football pitch. As soon as I climbed out of the car, I noticed a water tower adjacent to the pitch and decided to climb it in order to get a few shots of the field from above.
Fifteen minutes later, two military jeeps screeched to a halt at the base of the tower. My film was confiscated, I was arrested, and, with no proper visa, I was immediately marched over to a nearby police station for questioning.
Several hours into the detainment, one of the policemen realized that he and my driver, who had gallantly come to my rescue, were distant relatives. Within five minutes the officer declared himself a huge football fan and I was released—with my film.
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