Book look: Frank Herfort

After seven years in Hamburg, German photographer Frank Herfort decided to travel to Moscow. “I was fascinated from the beginning,” Herfort writes about his impressions, adding that he was amazed by the colourful facades and extraordinary shapes of skyscrapers and other buildings. Herfort then visited also several formerly Soviet countries like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to take pictures of residential buildings, business centres and ministerial complexes.
“Imperial Pomp. Post-Soviet High-Rise” features introductions by Matthias Schepp and Irina Korobina as well as an analysis by Dmitrij Chmelnizki. However, the absolute focus is on Herfort’s excellent photos. Some of the represented buildings resemble ships while others look like spears and torches. Most of the skyscrapers’ architecture is arguably swanky and of bad taste – a constellation which tempted Austrian magazine profil to diagnose the development of a new artistic direction: New Russian Style.

The reality seems far away on these images, but it comes perilously close when the spectator takes a closer look at the surroundings. The difficult circumstances of people in these countries becomes evident thanks to Herfort’s decision to show the buildings’ direct environment as well: run-down flats, people sitting around a campfire, an old man sharpening his scythe on an overgrown meadow.

Imperial Pomp. Post-Soviet High-Rise
By Frank Herfort
Published by Kerber (

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