The Cologne photograph Max Regenberg has been photographing advertisement in urban public spaces since the 1970s. The number and size of advertising billboards and illuminated displays are a major feature of urban landscapes. With his photographs, Regenberg asks questions about the visual power of external advertising and focusing on the possibilities it has for influencing the individual. Most of his photographs have been taken in Germany and show the way in which advertising language has changed over the last quarter century. Visual Industry deals with the dense network of relationships between photography, graphic design, product design, marketing and urban design.
Regenberg got the idea for his “long-term study” during his 1977 stay in Canada, where he was confronted by a variety of advertising media and styles that in no way corresponded to German advertising practices of that time. Regenberg’s archive comprises more than 4000 negatives and over 7000 original posters. His bundle of photographs’ historic significance for media and culture was particularly honored in a one-man show at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn in 2000 as well as in the conferment of the Peter Keetman Prize for Industrial Photography of the Volkswagen Art Foundation in Hamburg in 2002.