Paul Pfeiffer (American, b.1966) is a Contemporary sculptor, photographer, and video artist who often uses found footage in his installment pieces. Pfeiffer was born in Honolulu, HI, but spent most of his childhood in the Philippines. He earned a BFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute before moving to New York, NY, in 1990. In New York, he received an MFA from Hunter College. Pfeiffer also took part in the Whitney Independent Study program. Pfeiffer's innovative work in sculpture, video, and photography incorporates recent computer technology to investigate the role society and the media play in shaping our awareness.
One of Pfeiffer's better-known works is Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2000). For this piece, Pfeiffer took found footage (footage taken by another artist) of a basketball game. He digitally removed all the players on the floor with the exception of one. This way, the viewer is forced to focus more intensely on that one player and perhaps can take note of the activity going on beyond the court. Usually presented on small LCD screens, Pfeiffer's video work urges the viewer to focus on obsession with celebrity by removing the celebrity and forcing one to look beyond it at the things that would have been missed. Another of his well-known works is Live From Neverland (2007), a two-part installation in which Pfeiffer took Michael Jackson's 2003 press conference and removed his voice, replacing it with 80 children singing Jackson's dialogue. Pfeiffer's sculpture work includes miniature dioramas of sets from the movies Exorcist and The Amityville Horror. These make up a series entitled Scenes of Horror.
Pfeiffer is represented by Thomas Dane in London, UK. His work is also displayed at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, NY, and he is also represented by Carleir Gebauer in Berlin, Germany. In 2000, Pfeiffer was a recipient of the inaugural Bucksbaum Award, given by the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY. A retrospective of his work was organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's List Visual Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Chicago in 2003. In 2002, Pfeiffer was an artist in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ArtPlace in San Antonio, TX. Pfieffer currently lives and works in New York, NY.