Books + Art



Back to the year 1903: It all began when publisher Henri Desgrange had a ludicrous idea designed to increase the circulation of the newspaper l’Auto-Vélo. A bicycle race, consisting of a number of day races covering brutal distances, quickly brought the sought-after popularity and morphed into a favorite among the public. The Tour de France was born. Still today, the “Grande Boucle” casts its spell on millions of spectators each year, and it is considered the world’s third-largest sports event, following the Olympic Games and the World Cup Football Championships. 

120 years later, the printed page has long since lost its edge to digital media, nowadys living only in the shadows of the world of reporting and opinion-shaping. Yet, once again, we find ourselves on the verge of a breakthrough in sports history: the Tour de France Femmes is daring to wager a much-wanted, independent restart, which has little to do with heroic, manly clichés. DÉBUT by Tino Pohlmann views itself as an homage, to the Tour’s humble beginnings – back when printed matter still reigned – as well as to current media in which new images of powerful women are setting the stage. 

Tino Pohlmann has been covering the Tour de France for almost two decades and knows all the ins and outs of this major event, as well as the regulations involved in professional cycling races. Despite – or perhaps because of – his professional routine, he still had to find a new method and approach to his photo-journalistic work for DÉBUT.

 This was necessary to unobtrusively capture images of the female athletes and the scene at the first official women’s Tour der France. Tino Pohlmann has the ability to capture closeness, intimacy and intensity, while simultaneously maintaining the respectful distance of a silent and inconspicuous observer. Although he does not completely avoid standard male-heroic symbolic imagery, he reinterprets this through a consciously chosen perspective that reveals a completely new, autonomous modern femininity. The female athletes portrayed by Tino Pohlmann are brought into the spotlight, giving us deep insight into each of their unique and fascinating personalities. To accomplish this, the DÉBUT photographer adds another layer of depth: the riders’ touching quotes allows us to enter into their tumultuous thoughts and feelings and, together with the portraits, they provide a whole new yet subtle intensity. “It feels as though something is flooding my body and soul at the same time. I enjoy the feeling when my mind is clear, and I feel free and invincible.” Alena Amialiusik DÉBUT not only shows the female protagonists while on the go, but also portrays the entire Tour de France Arena, whisking us away to a colorful, loud, crazy, yet equally picturesque scene lined with streams of fans. In fact, for just a moment in time, it feels as though you are fully emerged into this fantastical race across the “Grande Nation”, as you turn the tactile pages of this large-format newspaper. 


_ a r e n a

Le colisée du
Tour de France

_a r e n a is Pohlmann’s hommage to the last true arena. A battleground where the spectator can experience one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the Tour de France, without having to pay entry. _a r e n a  is a tribute to the beauty of the mountains and, at the same time, to the Tour de France itself, which has captivated millions of people now for 106 years. The mountains of the tour are the stadium in which he has gone for the past 15 years of his life in a constant search for the large and small things beyond the yellow jersey.


During this time, Pohlmann has disassembled the Tour de France into its individual parts to capture and understand the essence of the Tour. Through the photographic image we can better understand the unique and unending fascination with the fusion of nature and sport visible to Pohlmann and the beholder. _arena bows at once before the beloved spectator and the towering landscape. As a photographer, Pohlmann seeks to make visible with his work what remains hidden from the individual viewer. 

Taking the vantage of a distant observer, he paints the stories in their thousands through the richness of detail: the waiting, the joy, the contrast between nature and the bands hugging the roadside, the endless lines of camper vans standing as if in the pause of a green train migration. But it is the mountains themselves that, when transformed by the event Tour de France, exert an eternal attraction. Despite modern convenien weakness of a rider, and paying back personally, and with suffering, an unjust tribute. visit _arena

Overview of

N.O.M. by Harald Blüchel

It is a special honor for me to be part of my friend Harald Blüchel's art book. I have been accompanying Harald photographically since 2016. So I also have the development of N.O.M. accompanied. Together with the designer Rainer Schlesselmann, we brought this wonderful art book to life.

Notes und Noten – Text by Harald Blüchel

" If I had two wishes as a composer, it would be:
1: that my music has an audience (of course!)
2: that my music is played by as many people as possible (certainly!)

A few months ago I was thinking of publishing regular sheet music, with a special touch, though: an aesthetic envelope, high quality binding, special paper.


Little by little more details came in: perhaps a drawing here, a photo there, some documents from my (yellow) notebooks … At this point the linguistic relationship between the terms notes (notebook) and note (in a musical way) jumped in the eye for the first time. Both are my preferred means of expression, to represent personal positions of relations between the inside and outside world. Spontaneously thrown thoughts – as Notes in concrete words – here, organized thoughts – translated with notes into the unlimited language of music – there. What we finally have here is a synthesis of both, a music book (in German language: “Notenbuch”): a fragmentary collection of materials from the life practice of my human existence – thoughts, experiences, questions, paraphrases, quotes, desiderates, aspects, feelings, drafts, sources … textual, graphical, idealistic, formative, evaluative, photographically and musically." visit Harald Blüchel

For 10 years the photographer Tino Pohlmann has accompanied, lived and suffered with the Tour de France. The pictures “reek of burning sweat, pounding blood, melted tar, mown grass and swirling dust, of sun and summer rain. You feel as one with the suffering bodies of the riders, and also with the happy crowds eating and drinking as they wait by the roadside. You feel that you want to literally climb inside the photos, put your arm around the defeated rider and give him some words of encouragement, or raise a glass with the spectators by the road enjoying their baguettes and wine.” (taken from Karsten Migels foreword “The Flavor of the Tour” )

Tino Pohlmann: “Looking back, you get back much more than you put in. CAPTURED. is about my very personal relationship with the race, the roads and its cyclists.” 
Tino himself has been road racing since he was nine. He finally started his own Tour de France-Project with a Diploma in design at HTW Berlin in 2004. He published his diploma thesis in 2005 with his first picture book about the Tour: “Rotation, Contraction, Inspiration”.  seltmann publishing