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EuropeStorySocial realism; Russian Fairy Tales by Frank Herfort

An Ambiguous Journey Through the Beauty, Benevolence and the In-between - Cinematic, dream-like shots of Russia.“Fairy Tales” is a work about the mystery and myth of the largest country in the world.

An Ambiguous Journey Through the Beauty, Benevolence and the In-between – Cinematic, dream-like shots of Russia.“Fairy Tales” is a work about the mystery and myth of the largest country in the world.

Treading the line between poignant realism and humorous fantasy, Frank Herfort’s project Fairy Tale of Russia is a mesmerizing, thought-provoking and at times chilling collection of photographs from his journey through Russia. Surreal imagery, colours and scenes lead on to candid shots of post-soviet aesthetic in an honest and strikingly human sequence of photos. German photographer Frank Herfort has spent over a decade photographing the insides and outsides of spaces throughout the East. His style is influenced by social realism: people are shown in their everyday life, which seems to be made up by banal details. His large-format artworks are hence an artistic combination of the surreal and the straight-lined, with an irony detectable in the pictorial language. Herfort’s work brings a modern twist, seemingly imported from the outside, that eradicates markers of time or context and persuades the viewer to create their own narrative. The images make a surreal, absurd impression; they raise more questions than they answer. Each image in this series stands alone and tell its own story, but together they seem to tell a whole fairy tale.

About Frank Herfort

German photographer Frank Herfort has spent over a decade photographing the insides of various public spaces throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. An architectural photographer by trade, Herfort’s personal work pays homage to the old-fashioned, Stalinist decor that still consumes many Russian interiors. Following his acclaimed book: Imperial Pomp – Post Soviet High-Rise ( 2013 ), his latest book: Russian Fairytales ( 2020 ), alternates between poignant realism and absurd fancies. His photographs of the wondrously surreal post-Soviet world are mesmerizing, cool, and thought provoking but most of all, they are strikingly human. In every image the people, everyday situations, architectures, and events tell their own individual stories. Yet Herfort’s work brings a modern twist, seemingly imported from the outside, that eradicates markers of time or context and persuades the viewer to create their own narrative. Frank is travelling worldwide for his global clients in the  advertising, architecture, editorial and corporate industry. [Official Website]

I photograph real, unmodified scenes—nothing is ever staged—but am always looking to draw out surrealist elements. My eye looks for incomprehensible situations, moments where you can’t quite put your finger on what’s happening. I aim to make mysterious images from abstract circumstances.

I love images. Without a break I can watch paintings, photographs, movies, or any other visual content. And even more, I like to create them. I´m always curious about how many things you can visualize through photography.

My photographic expertise lies in the fields of people, architecture, interior, and combinations of these. For my commissions, I travel a lot around the globe for corporate, advertising, and editorial projects. I never see photography as work – It´s my passion and my life.

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Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
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