Ralph Tepel born 1964 in Celle, Lower Saxony, Germany is a German artist, working now for more than 25 years as a fine art photographer, painter, sculptor and last but not least as a sound performance artist.
He started painting, drawing and sculpturing in his childhood and youth. In school he found catalyzers in his art teachers Dirk Schäfer, who was a free artist with teaching assignment and Günther Dehnert, an art and design teacher. 1983 he got his university entrance diploma at Wilhelm Dörpfeld high school. He studied theology, art and design at the universities of Wuppertal, Heidelberg, and Bonn. From 1995 – 1997 he studied as a master scholar with Professor Alfons Engling, after his return from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Cologne, Germany. In 1995 he became acquainted with Helmut Tollmann and was working at his studio from 1998 to 2006 as an assistant and collaborator. The multi-layer work of Helmut Tollmann integrating techniques from print and photography to painting had a strong influence on Ralph Tepels artwork until today.
Focus photography 1986 – 2012
Ralph Tepel was as a fine art photographer several years member of the American Society of Picture Professionals and the Adobe Photographers Directory. An article on Ralph Tepel and his work was published in Künstlerische Fotografie heute, Band 1 (Fine art photography today, Volume 1). In the years 2007 and 2008 he was living and working in Calgary, Alberta. A lot of new artworks were originated. Photographs from more than one decade culminated in the “inspired by music”- project, shown in an exhibition and published in an art book.
Faces of constitutional law and the presidential project 2004 -2008
Since Ralph Tepel had created a series of paintings of the men and women of the Parliamentary Council under the exhibition title “faces of constitutional law”, Christian Kiefer invited him to take part in the music and art Presidential Project “Of great and mortal men” of J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer and Jefferson Pitcher with the portrait of Richard Nixon.
Liberty as a guiding theme 2009 – 2014
After moving his studio from Cologne to Solingen, he was looking for new forms of expression always with the guiding theme liberty and freedom. The political implications of his painting and sculpturing focused on the loss of liberty through digitization and economization of the society. These works were shown at the Kornelius gallery at the beginning of 2015.
The Myth Game 2015
The death of his father and his own severe accident were profound experience that changed his vision of the world and his artwork eradicative. He dealt intensely with the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and met with a completely new Expression of his own, that led him to the Myth Game in appeal to Ludwig Wittgenstein and Roland Barthes, the “Sprachspiel” (language game) and “the everyday myth”.
The Superimposition or the modern palimpsest 2017
playing with layers and information led him to his new “playground” the extinction of information by superimposition. Working with a lot of new techniques like laminating, sanding image layers, framing and edging image information layers.