As a passionate individual with an intellectual take on politics, people and everyday life, Thomas Hoepker is known foremost as a global historian, an artist in the true sense of the form with his photography. Now we are witness to some of his best work in the release of the his latest book Wanderlust: 60 Years of Images presenting a visual story of memorable far-flung places and reflections of a time where images were as raw in their final form as their landscape, the muses and their emotions caught on film.
His grandfathers old 9×12 glass plate camera was a pivotal present that would shape the life of a young Hoepker. Developing prints in his parent’s kitchen and moving on to study art history and archaeology, soon enough Hoepker was traveling the world, reporting and documenting in the golden age of photo journalism.
Attaining a reputation after a stint at one of the world’s biggest picture magazines Münchner Illustrierte & Stern Magazine, Hoepker gained more prevalent public notoriety early into his career shooting with Muhammad Ali. With initial challenges of Ali sensitive to let his guard down during a time of racial segregation and oppression, the two eventually built a bond based on aligned compassions for change. In time allowing Hoepker to capture compelling images of power and strength met with the soft charm that Ali revealed in time to the photographers lens. Hoepker is synonymous in re-defining the portrayal of the prominent black figure that was Ali, and depicting him for who he really was. Throughout his career Hoepker has snapped world-defining events, none more so than the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 – or that fateful day in New York on September 11, 2001. Moving into documentary making later in life, we can relish in Hoepker’s incredible body of work.
With images that have never previously been published, Wanderlust: 60 Years of Images is more then just a book, it conveys a vivid sense of empowering moments and beauty amongst angst and destruction. The images move you to connect beyond a visual level and draw you past the paper to gauge the hardship or happiness reflected in the portraits of landscapes. A coffee table number that spends more time in your hands then stacked elegantly beside other favorites.