Frank Kunert’s Surreal Architectures

The German artist explores the 'absurdity of life' through his photographs and handmade miniatures

by Rossana Vinci
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German photographer and model maker Frank Kunert explores the surreal scenes of everyday life through his meticulous handmade architectural miniatures.

Kunert’s bizarre wonderlands relate stories of the depths of life and say something about people. 'They are the expression of our culture, our past, our present, and our future. The inner worlds of homes were in invariably are reflections of social zeitgeist and contain much of what goes on inside and around us' (Elizabeth Clarke from an essay of the photo book Wunderland).

Mauerblümchen and One Bedroom Apartment - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

Frank Kunert (b. 1963 in Frankfurt am Main) grew up in the Rhine-Main region and started taking photographs as a teenager, when he particularly was interested in landscape photography. After completing secondary school, he trained as a photographer and nurtured his love for studio work. 

He remains true to this pursuit even today and his focus has been on designing and photographing miniature scenes for a long time.

A Room with a View - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

Slowness is the key to Kunert’s approach to developing ideas and treading creative paths. This is made possible by his craftsmanship, the time—often weeks on end—he takes to build his miniature worlds and precise studio lighting.

Model-making - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

Layer upon layer of paint is applied to the miniature model. Once in a while a bit flakes off or the paint runs — just as in real life plaster falls off the wall, or the color of facade changes over the years (Elizabeth Clarke from an essay of the photo book Wunderland).

Climbing Holidays and making of climbimb holidays - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

 

Improvisation is much as much apart of Kunert’s work as well-planned precision. In this way, Kunert’s attention to detail and inventiveness get what they need: time. 

Model-making - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

 

Floors are laid, windows installed. The odd piece of furniture or musical instrument is made. Curtains get hung. Tiles are laid, rooms furnished, roofs shingled. Trees are planted. Backgrounds and walls are painted. Which at times seems to blur the boundaries between photography and painting (Elizabeth Clarke from an essay of the photo book Wunderland). 

High Sleeper Bed and Hop Hop Rider - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

Kunert’s works are regularly presented at exhibitions in Germany and abroad and have been published in Spiegel special, chrismon, DU – das Kulturmagazin, Der Standard, Photonews, smith journal, and TGV magazine, among others.  

At a High Level - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

 

The artist received several awards, including the silver medal at the Biennial Dimensional Salon in New York and the German Photo Book Award in silver. Frank Kunert is a member of the Professional Association of Visual Artists in Rhineland-Palatinate and the German Society for Photography (DGPh). 

 

Carpe Diem and Flying High - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

Privacy - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

 

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Cover: A Place in the Sun imagines neighbours in a fight for daylight - Image Courtesy © Frank Kunert

 

 

 

 

 

 

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