Artist Makes Portraits of Famous People from Thousands of Words

Ralph Ueltzhoefer probably took the saying “a picture is worth a thousands words” because he actually builds detailed images from thousands of written words.

The Mannheim-based German artist takes photos of celebrities from the Internet and recreates their portraits with words randomly-selected from Internet biographies, fragments of words and phrases, and Wikipedia articles that have come to define these famous people. Ueltzhoefer sets the white text line by line on the dark background, thus making a statement about how media defines our every day lives in a Web-centered world. His Textportraits are a symbiosis between text and photo, biography and portrait, a readable version of two different components.

The art project text portrait exclusively works with personal data in most different combinations on thousands of websites. Text portrait is not as usually limited to only one internet website, but spreads out to in the meantime hundreds of websites worldwide. Thousands of clicks daily grant this project great power of information. The art project text portrait purposefully abuses personal data and links these directly to the TEXTPORTRAIT project. As the art project, due to its capacity, reproduces itself independently through the net, there has been no way to end this project promptly for some time”, the artist states on his website.





Ralph Ueltzhoefer via My Modern Metropolis