Tobias Grau fuses light and emotion in global art project

Spearheaded by creative directors Timon and Melchior Grau, global collaborative initiative Artists for Tobias Grau explores the transformative power of lighting design

Justin Swinburne, Team Home for Artists for Tobias Grau, featuring copies of Wallpaper* Magazine
Team Home
(Image credit: Justin Swinburne)

Following the seismic global impact of events in early 2020, German lighting design experts Tobias Grau sought to further understand the emotional power of light, this time through art.

The light-bulb moment

This ignited Artists for Tobias Grau, for which the brand sent lights to artists across the globe and asked them to offer a carte blanche creative response. The resulting creations from artists including Tanya and Zhenya Posternak, Darryl Daley, Johann Clausen and Sarah Blais were wide-ranging: photographs, videos, illustrations, installation shots, and CGI images, each interpreting the fusion of light and emotion in new ways.

Bastien Gomez, Salt and Pepper light artwork for Artists for Tobias Grau

Salt and Pepper

(Image credit: Bastien Gomez)

Irons in the fire

2020 was a busy year for Timon and Melchior Grau, the brand’s creative directors and sons of its eponymous founder. As well conceiving Artists for Tobias Grau, the duo took part in the inaugural Wallpaper* Re-Made initiative, presenting their plans for an installation called ‘Fire’ in the August 2020 issue. As artists, light and its influence on our lives is at the heart of their practice. Their project aims to alleviate seasonal disorder by emitting a powerful light to soothe winter blues, as well as channel the age-old connection between humans, emotions and fire.

Paul Hutchinson, Fire for Artists for Tobias Grau


(Image credit: Paul Hutchinson)

New light 

In 2021, Tobias Grau plans to incorporate other disciplines into the series beyond photography. In collaboration with creatives, they will continue to explore the solace, joy and transformative potential of light as a creative medium, while supporting artists in continually turbulent times.

Sarah Blais light artwork for Artists for Tobias Grau

(Image credit: Sarah Blais)

Bastien Gomez's artwork for Artists for Tobias Grau

(Image credit: Bastien Gomez)

Darryl Daley, Portrait of Ben for Artists for Tobias Grau

Portrait of Ben

(Image credit: Darryl Daley)

Clara Rubin painting for Artists for Tobias Grau


(Image credit: Clara Rubin)

Benoit Jeannet light artwork for Artists for Tobias Grau

(Image credit: Benoît Jeannet)


The Tobias Grau collection is available on WallpaperSTORE*

Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.