• Paul-herbst-hero-1-1

    Paul Herbst: UNDISCLOSED LOCATIONS (2011-ongoing), detail.

Photography

Quick chat with photographer Paul Herbst on how strange is the norm and his new book Portable Hell

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Paul Herbst takes some curious photos. The chicken is in the tank and we don’t know why, though someone in the studio is convinced there is a snake in there with it. The flash gives them an uncanny look of all the detail, all at once so that the content of the image is not necessarily immediate, and so (as with the “snake”) they are easy to read into. It happens that the strangeness of these images allow for theories that are stranger still. With a new book pending with Morel Books, we spoke briefly to Paul about why things are, how they could be and what it is…

  • Paul-herbst-1

    Paul Herbst: UNDISCLOSED LOCATIONS (2011-ongoing)

You seem to have an ability to find breaks in normality – do you go looking for these moments or do they find you?

I never consciously search for “weird stuff” or “curiosities.” In my world those things are not out of ordinary. I guess for me it was always was like that, even before I took up photography.

Have you always taken photos this way and do you think it could change if you willed it to (like handwriting)?

I don’t think I can or should force a sudden change in a way I produce work. The way I create and the way I perceive the world around me is constantly changing. For me this shift of perception happens naturally while I “grow” as a person and artist. I believe that my next book (the one after Portable Hell) will be very different, and, I would say, more mature than things I’ve done in the past. It will be much less of wandering around with a camera and more of carefully constructed installation-like images.

What is Portable Hell?

Portable Hell is a book which is coming out this year. It’s a collection of photographs shot in London between 2008 and 2011. The origins of the title are not exactly clear for me right now, as I already distanced myself from the book emotionally, but it has something to do with constant uneasiness I felt while working on it.

  • Paul-herbst-8

    Paul Herbst: UNDISCLOSED LOCATIONS (2011-ongoing)

  • Paul-herbst-6

    Paul Herbst: UNDISCLOSED LOCATIONS (2011-ongoing)

  • Paul-herbst-5

    Paul Herbst: UNDISCLOSED LOCATIONS (2011-ongoing)

  • Paul-herbst-2

    Paul Herbst: PHOTOGRAPHS (2008-2009)

  • Paul-herbst-10

    Paul Herbst: UNDISCLOSED LOCATIONS (2011-ongoing)

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Eudes-de-santana-int-list

    Eudes de Santana’s photographic portfolio is almost suspiciously international. He has worked on commissions in London, Berlin, Cape Town and Barcelona as well as his home country of Brazil, piecing together a collection of images which are compelling and energetic, but which might lead you to believe he’s on a career-long holiday rather than busily working. On the contrary, it’s just that his clients – Zeit Magazine, Vice, Nike and Sony are known all over the world, giving him more-than-legit cause to travel to wherever the work is. And can you blame him?

  2. Garywallis-mcqueen-int-list

    There’s a wave of adoration sweeping across London for Alexander McQueen at the moment, almost exactly five years after his untimely death in 2010, and it feels something like a homecoming. This is due in no small part to the upcoming showing of Savage Beauty, an exhibition of his life’s work which was first seen at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art four years ago, and which will open at the V&A on 14 March with a wealth of new exhibits.

  3. Euan-int-main

    Before I begin can I just say that what you see in these photos is not LARP (Live Action Role Play), it’s SCA which stands for The Society for Creative Anachronism. The difference is where LARP is more playful, going out with your mates wearing costumes and wearing padding and bashing each other on the head, SCA is actually re-enacting moments in primarily Medieval history down to the smallest detail. A bit like a play, but with jousting.

  4. Caitoppermann-bangkok-int-list-2

    Sifting through holiday snaps is generally a pleasure – all that sniggering at old men in questionable swimming trunks and cooing over exotic birdlife – but this enjoyment is at least 80% greater when the traveller is a photographer, and 10% more again when it’s Cait Oppermann. The Brooklyn-based image-maker has an observing eye which allows her to pick up on the details others might miss – like odd happenings at a US sex convention, for example, or a mirrored ceiling in a derelict shopping mall and she found Bangkok to be in no short supply of such interesting corners.

  5. Stefaniemoshammer-int-main

    “Las Vegas is the strip club capital of the world,” says Stefanie Moshammer, an Austrian photographer whose recent project led her to the underbelly of Nevada’s shimmering city. Stefanie began work on a series called Vegas and She, in which she documents strippers, nightclubs, and various bits and bobs that represent Las Vegas culture: bright pink limos, dust trails, palm trees, and diving boards into sapphire pools.

  6. Neilbedfordgsj-classicfootballshirts-int-list

    All football fans have a fetishistic relationship with the shirts that runs deeper than simple affirmations of tribal loyalty. We obsess over the exact shades of colours, the detailing on the cuffs, and the stitching on the crest – and most of us can vividly remember how certain shirts smelled (is this getting weird?). Anyway a new project from the chaps over at The Green Soccer Journal celebrates this relationship between fan and jersey in a new series of photos shot by their long-term collaborator Neil Bedford. Occasionally we glimpse a club name or badge but this is more universal than that and the close-ups in particular speak to the intensity of our addictions.

  7. Andreaalquati-fukushima-3-int_copy

    Andrea Bonisoli Alquati has been researching and photographing the ecological effects of nuclear disasters since 2007. First, he was doing so in Chernobyl and since 2012 he’s photographed in Fukushima’s exclusion zone, where as part of his PhD research he assesses the health and condition of individual animals, populations and community dynamics in the area.

  8. Gaeanwoods-int-main

    Gaea Woods caught our eye the other day with the portraits she took of her friend Samantha, seemingly covered all over in Vaseline. A bit of research led us to finding out that Gaea is actually a photographer with a whole host of talents under her belt, particularly when it comes to shooting things really close-up. Gaea was born in rural northern California and now resides in LA, where she’s making her career as a photographer.

  9. Wailin-editorial-7-int_copy

    Photographer Wai Lin Tse’s portfolio balances dewy, sun-kissed babes with photographs of plants and chubby-cheeked kids. It’s quite the melting pot and can be seen in editorials for Lula, The Plant and Apartamento magazine. Lin’s photographs are impeccably-lit and somehow both poised and quite tongue-in-cheek. She seems equally comfortable shooting landscapes as she is people, perhaps partially down to the fact that she is based in both Stockholm and Barcelona and surely taking lots of exciting cross-continent road trips.

  10. _thom-atkinson-guy-the-gorilla_-natural-history-museum-int-list

    Removed from their cabinets, museum pieces take on a strange quality. Once the glass is gone, some of their mystique goes too; and they feel almost like everyday things to be used and touched, rather than alien relics to be admired. It’s this disorientating new quality that’s captured so beautifully in Thom Atkinson’s series Museums, showing pieces from the Wellcome Trust and National History Museum collections.

  11. List-adrian_skenderovic_down_the_river-15

    There’s something very peaceful, but slightly voyeuristic about Adrian Skenderovic’s series Down the River. The photographs show the bateaux-mouches tourist boats that gently cruise down the River Seine in Paris, but here the spectacle isn’t the Louvre or Notre Dame, but the tourists themselves. It really awakens our nosey nature seeing the little bald heads and bathing ladies from above, and creating our own narratives about what might be happening on these seemingly serene vessels, with the colours and perspective helping us float along with the subjects. Last time we posted about Adrian’s work it was to showcase his brilliant series of images of lonely basketball hoops, and it seems he has a knack for taking objects that feel familiar and totally shifting our take on them.

  12. Boyhood-interview-2-int_copy

    In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 25 years, and missed last night’s Oscars ceremony (congratulations Patricia!) Richard Linklater is an Austin-based filmmaker who until recently would have been best-known for coming of age classic Dazed and Confused, the Before trilogy or School of Rock. That is, until the release of Boyhood.

  13. Yenertorun-int-list

    Yener Torun is a 32 year-old architect who has turned Istanbul into the geographical equivalent of Aladdin’s cave of wonders. Tucked away among the beautiful Ottoman and Byzantine architecture and the blue Bosphorus are a wealth of impossibly bright buildings dominated by geometric patterns, rainbow hues and funny architectural idiosyncrasies. And through his Instagram account, Yener has been slowly but steadily documenting it all.