Michael H. Rohde – Unusual views of space

Using photography as his medium and raw material for his compositions, Michael H. Rohde creates artistic images such as photomontages and paintings. He does not consider himself a photographer, but a painter, whose images serve to convey a strong sense of seeing and feeling differently. His unusual angles of interiors, shot from above or below and fragmented or reassembled, undergo several distortions creating a sense of disorientation. Such disturbing ways of viewing a space challenge the perception, as the eyes, accustomed to a central perspective, struggle for orientation and the viewer is placed at the centre of the composition. By doing so, the artist hardly manipulates the images of the objects themselves, he only changes the way of viewing them. Our vision attempts to reconstruct a unified image, but this ultimately reinforces the intrinsic life of the pictured objects. What interests Rohde is not the spectacular effect, but new forms and possibilities of reality, a different portrayal of the existing, the familiar or the ordinary. To play with alternative options of perspective and ways of viewing involves not only technical skills, but also human and social dimensions, as familiarity loses its steady ground. The constancy of things in the quotidian space is shaken by the suction effect of the compositions, sometimes with a shattering, threatening force. Rohde's works stand for a reflection of the world, while at the same time revealing an existential description of the artist's own position. Destabilisation, tremor and destruction resonate in his works, thus alluding to the fragility of the familiar. His experience of homelessness in 2009 triggered an aesthetic concept and core idea for the artist, where the central perspective from below is to be understood also as a sort of social perspective, pointing out to an essential part of a lived and self-experienced reality.


Michael H. Rohde (b. 1960) first completed a machine fitter apprenticeship and graduated as a mechanical engineer. After working as a graduate engineer, he studied art therapy and pedagogy as well as fine arts at the HKS Ottersberg. In 2002, he completed postgraduate studies in fine arts (comparable to a master class) at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (HFBK). He has since participated in many exhibitions and received numerous scholarships and awards in the field of art and photography. Rohde lives and works in Berlin.