Born in Remscheid, he now runs a studio in Bethnal Green in the East End of London. He first came to the attention of the art world in the late 1980s with a series of photographs of young people at raves and festivals.
His work appeared in influential design magazines such as i-D before he began to exhibit across Europe. He never uses frames for his images, simply pinning or taping them to the walls of the gallery. In 2000 he won the British Turner prize (visual art award).
Wolfgang is among the most celebrated of contemporary photographers. Highly influential among younger photographers, Wolfgang has also been criticized by many in the world of photography for a body of work that often appears to erase the line between commercial and art photography, snapshot and "print".
His interest in youth culture has been described as voyeuristic and exploitative, and yet he has also been widely credited for his ability to define a new aesthetic of intimacy and to celebrate the individuality of a generation that others are happy to write off as "X."
Wolfgang's early photography featured his friends and their parties in an effort to capture moments of intimacy within the constraint-free lifestyles of youth cultures. His interest in alternative concepts of beauty, sexuality, and politics is sociological and distanced.