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Work / Photography

Frank Herfort explores the contrasts and contradictions of life in contemporary Russia

German photographer Frank Herfort’s images capture the landscape and architecture of the former Soviet Union and the people who live there. His series Imperial Pomp juxtaposes the aesthetics of monumental Soviet architecture with contemporary life, capturing often jarring relationships between the old and new. Part portrait, part documentary photography his series Time in Between looks at the ambiguous uses of space in Russia. “In western Europe everything is so neatly defined. An office is an office. A waiting room is a waiting room. In Russia, by contrast, rooms are open to interpretation, many layered and not so prettified,” says Frank. “I noticed there seemed to be much more people sitting around in them. None of them seems at first sight to know what they are doing there. I tried to integrate people like that into my pictures.”

In recent years Leipzig-born Frank has split his time between Moscow and Berlin, having studied art at HfBK Hamburg. He spent some time in London at the outset of his career and worked as an assistant for the likes of Walter Scheels, Gulliver Theis and Richard Ansett. This year he hasn’t spent any time in his home country of Berlin, but has spent his time in Moscow, Ho Chi Minh, London and Istanbul (which can be seen here). A sense of place, if unexpected, is a recurring theme in his work. “First of all is the place, the story itself,” he says of his work. “If I find something interesting I start to think what the composition should be. For me the most important thing is the place, the light, the story and the structure and colours.”

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Frank Herfort, Elevator to Kirov, 2015

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Frank Herfort, Missed, 2011

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Frankierfort, Conservation, 2014

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Frank Herfort, Triumph Plaza, Astana, 2012

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Frank Herfort, Traffic Police Headquarters, Kazan, 2011

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Frank Herfort, The Mission, 2005

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Frank Herfort, Staircase Girl, 2015

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Frank Herfort, Picnic, 2010

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Frank Herfort, Doctors Consultation, 2010

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Frank Herfort, Chelyabinsk City, 2012