‘Climbing Holiday’ (2017).
Welcome to the miniature world of Frank Kunert, where everything is a little topsy-turvy and nothing is ever quite as it seems like a stairlift that can fire its unlucky occupant out of a window like Mrs Deagle in Gremlins or a funeral plot disguised as a bedroom for two eternal lovers.
Kunert’s handcrafted miniature models are inspired by the history found in the “decayed facades of suburban houses” of his hometown of Frankfurt.
[S]ometimes when I’m out walking and looking at these houses it sets off a train of thoughts in my head, and then later something comes out of it which reveals itself as an idea which I can perhaps use in a picture.
This can often lead to a play-on-words which suggest to Kunert another reality like the hotel on a concrete pillar in “Climbing Holiday” or the cramped accommodation of “One Bedroom Apartment.”
[S]ince houses play such an important part in my pictures it seems obvious to me that I should occasionally refer to the way words are used in property advertisements. For it is precisely when they’re writing advertisements that people try their hardest to make language excite great expectations. The question is always: what would the writer or the speaker like to say, and what does the reader or the listener actually hear? And that’s where my play on meanings begins. And though the titles of my pictures don’t actually lie, they can nevertheless be somewhat misleading.
Though darkly humorous and surreal, Kunert’s miniature worlds contain a recurring motif: “our deep human desire for security and our fear of loss, as well as our anxiety regarding the transitory nature of life.” He spends days painstakingly creating his miniature worlds preferring a handcrafted “analog” approach rather than the hi-gloss of digital effects.
Born in Frankfurt in 1963, Kunert became a photographer’s assistant after leaving high school. He then worked for various photographic studios before becoming a freelance photographer and artist in 1992. Since then, he has mainly focussed his attention on the creation of his miniature worlds.