Social documentary photography, documentary photography, reportage & artistic everyday photography

Thomas Klingberg, Fotograf in Düsseldorf

Born 1971 in Gelsenkirchen, freelance photographer and visual artist based in Düsseldorf & Berlin, working in the fields of social documentary photography, reportage, portraits & press. Specialized in the creation of artist-, worker- and social-portraits as well as photographic documentation & reportages in milieus which are difficult to access and close to the life realities of the protagonists. Interdisciplinary art-projects with civic-, social- and cultural institutions as well as with artists and artist groups from various disciplines. On the artistic side furthermore, the focus is on photographic stylizing and poetizing of seemingly banal everyday scenes.

Listed in → artists directory
of Düsseldorf


Exhibitions &
Projects (Excerpt)

September 2019:
Breaks and new beginnings

September 2019:
Everyone is a Photographer

2018: stadTraum
Joint exhibition with the artist
Jaqueline Lobodda. Photographs, collages,
objects, texts. Gelsenkirchen

Exhibition as part of the
of NRW Forum Düsseldorf


2017: Between tracks
Poetry & Everyday Life, Text & Photography,
Berlin Schöneberg

2016: Looking back to the future
Joint exhibition with the photographer
Ulrike Fox,Gelsenkirchen

2016: FORST
Contemporary social documentary
photography. Exhibition of photographic
documentation as part of
Kunstpunkte Düsseldorf (solo exhibition).

2016: Life: unfinished
Exhibition of Documentation in Public Space,
without announcement, what wasa part of the
project, Düsseldorf (solo exhibition)

2016: Charity exhibition for the Jasmin-Hilfe e.V.
in Düsseldorf (group exhibition)

2016 & 2015: Words/Pictures/Dialogues
Urban Poetry of Everyday Life.
Fragmented exhibition in public space
Düsseldorf & Berlin

2015: Sprachbilder / Bildsprachen – Berlin city views.
Text meets Photography, Berlin (group exhibition).
A Poetic Answer to Social Documentary Photography

2014: “Be how you feel – an artistic counterposition to commercial school and kindergarten photography”. (Artistic director) Collaboration with the photographer Ulrike Fox, the Gelsenkirchen City Library and the primary school at the castle in Gelsenkirchen-Horst.

2014: HAMASAT #7 –
Hamasat Photo Gallery, Qatif,
Saudi Arabia (group exhibition)

2014: “Women, Men, Children, Asphalt – photographic statements on the sights of everyday life”, Gelsenkirchen, Participant & Artistic Director

2013: “We in Gelsenkirchen”
Social documentary photography.
Exhibition of the Documentation,
Gelsenkirchen (solo exhibition)

2013: Interdisciplinary art exhibition “Strong Types”
with the visually impaired artist Bärbel Frank,
Hamburg, Dorsten

2013: Faces of dementia
Portraits of people with dementia in cooperation with the Alzheimer Society Gelsenkirchen, Werner-Thiel-Halle & Nordsternturm, Gelsenkirchen (solo exhibition)

2012: HAMASAT #5
Hamasat Photo Gallery, Qatif,
Saudi Arabia (group exhibition)

2011: Exhibition of the documentation
“Berliner Poesiefrühling” at the
“Wortwedding” in Berlin (joint exhibition)

2010: “Kids.” Martin Luther Hospital,
Berlin (solo exhibition)


Press Clippings

Exhibition ” Between tracks ” makes the district
a bit to a living room

stadTraum – Jaqueline Lobodda and Thomas Klingberg showing urban perspectives

An unused shop-room becomes a gallery

A touch of Berlin

„Be how you feel“

An exhibition far away from the selfie mentality

“Back from Moscow”

An art project takes a poetic view of the everyday life

Project “Poetry and Everyday Life” throws a special view of ordinary life

Poetry meets Berlin city views

Modern fairy tales and city stories.
Radio podcast on Ö1

On the Road with the Lagerfeld Troupe

Publications &

City. Everyday life. Environment.
Photographic observations.
(ISBN 9783750200647)

Gelsenkirchen beyond football
(ISBN 9783748574316)

Poesie & Alltag – Publication of the same-named
art project in public space
(ISBN 9783738640090)

FORST – Social documentary photography:
Photographic documentation of social work
(ISBN 9783741294624)

A photographic walk
(ISBN 9783844279801)

We in Gelsenkirchen-Horst
Social Documentary Photography
Exhibition catalogue
(ISBN 9783844276046)

Italia monochrom
Exhibition catalogue
(ISBN 9783738647471)

Magazin fotoPRO, Issue 1/12, October 2012:
“The street is a stage” – Interview on the topic
social documentary photography of everyday life.
Download as PDF (german) (640kb)

Magazin fotoPraxis, Issue 1/13, January 2013:
“Urban Photography”



“You will leave this exhibition with a different consciousness than you entered.” (Mayor Klaudia Zepuntke, Düsseldorf, about the exhibition → Breaks and new beginnings)

“In Thomas Klingberg’s pictures you can see in black and white what is hardly noticed in the grey tones of society.” (Author → Frank Schablewski)

“I was very touched by the way Thomas dealt with the children in the hospice. He communicated with them without speaking their language. When you have seen how much closeness the children have allowed, you could have thought that Thomas has been a part of the institution for a long time”. (Dr. Natasha Grigorian, staff member of the Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center in Moscow)

“Klingberg’s photographs are carried by a deep humanism. A master of the iconography of everyday life.” (Dr. Rainer Strzolka, literary scholar and photographer)

“Not only is he a good photographer, he can also climb very quickly over very high walls ” (One of the protagonists from the photo series →”Illegal Sprayers”)

“… seeks the frings of society where life is direct and maskless, in space where there are cracks, compulsions, longings, and laughter of despair. He records this life with the camera, directly and honestly in intimacy. Life wins, the photo becomes a minor matter.” (Barbara Oestersötebier)

“A fairly broad photographic spectrum, where I don’t like everything. But the portraits are remarkable & extraordinary.” (Angelika Richter, artist, architect)

“These photos would only touch me intensely if they were stapled on my body. (Visitor of one of my exhibitions)

It is interesting that such a positive, open and cheerful person takes such oppressive and depressive photos. He is a man of contrasts. (Anna Kruitikova, visitor of the exhibition “Moscow Study” in Moscow)

Actually not very exciting when you see an exhibition about Moscow as a Muscovite, but I really didn’t recognize my city in his photos. (Visitors of the exhibition “Moscow Study” in Moscow)

“He’s a real philanthropist. You can see it on his photos. You feel it in a face-to-face contact” (Artist→ Jaqueline Lobodda)

“It moved me to tears” (Irene Kowalski, a native of Gdansk, about the photobook → Danzig)

“I won’t pay a penny for this” (bride after first review of my wedding report)

“Really good photos of very special subjects.” (→ Anja Firmenich, Film Production Manager)

“The exhibition and the people it shows really impressed me (journalist Frank Menke regarding the exhibition → FORST – Social Documentary Photography)

“If you look closely at his photographs, you feel that he also tells a lot about himself, the way he sees people and the world, and that is often very touching” (Aija Samina-Edelhoff)

“By choosing his unusual exhibition venues, he gives people access to appealing photography that might otherwise hardly come in touch with it” (Reinhold Adam, former city councillor on the Culture Committee of the City of Gelsenkirchen)

“I’m impressed by his in-depth image and portfolio analysis. He has the eye and the ability to deal with picture contents and to give valuable suggestions. (Photographer → Alexandre Sladkevich)

“I put this book, its pictures and thoughts very much to you at the heart (Düsseldorfs environmental department assistant Helga Stulgies, from the preface to the publication → CITY. EVERYDAY-LIFE. ENVIRONMENT).

+49 (0)211 54222260