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Posts for Artist
Born and raised in South Africa in the midst of Apartheid, Frank Herholdt grew up surrounded by oppression, segregation, and extreme racism. Dissolusioned by the tyranny around him, Frank became seduced by the romanticism of film in the era of Hitchcock, Fellini, and Bergman. Aside from film, Frank also fell particularly in love with the romantic chiaroscuro utilized in the paintings of Caravaggio and Vermeer: "The light in Johannesburg is harsh and uncompromising...I loved looking at European art and seeing the gentle light used by the old masters," he explained. Years later, Frank now lives in London with his family, but traces of his childhood adoration for film and European art prove indisputably present throughout his work. An established and irrefutably talented photographer, Frank sits down with JMI to talk about his past, present, and the many influences behind his unique photographic style.
JMI REPS: You lived in South Africa for a short while before moving to London, is that right?
FRANK HERHOLDT: I was in fact born and raised in South Africa, right in the middle of a very suppressive era - the Apartheid era. Luckily, my father worked at a very liberal university, and as a child and young adult, I was exposed to numerous professors and lecturers who had liberal views - a number [of whom] were later persecuted and jailed by the state for their anti-racist veiws...This upbringing made me rather angry and anti-establishment. I was hopeless at sport because of my terrible eyesight, and so I was a bit of a nerd that didn't fit in. My main diversion was books, and mags like LIFE, and going to the movies..
JMI: How did you get started as a photographer?
FH: I was studying Fine Art at The Johannesburg School of Art, and in my second year...I ran into an ex-girlfriend on the street. She was a crazy, enthusiastic character, and insisted that I come with her to meet her new husband who was a photographer. He was a really nice, generous guy, and offered to teach me dark room techniques if I would help around the studio occassionally. I started coming after school...but soon I was so hung up on the shots and the processing, I began to drop classes. Eventually, I ended up working for [him] more or less full-time. I never finished my degree! I eventually moved to London and worked with several eminent photographers, including the great American artist, Art Kane, who worked regularly in Europe. That's when I finally started my own career.
JMI: In what ways has your photography evolved since you first started out?
FH: Of course, fashion and techniques have all evolved, and I have endeavored to keep up. I would hope that I have become more and more skilled, and also more mature in many ways.
JMI: How would you characterize your photography?
FH: Narrative. Painterly, mostly.
JMI: What inspires your photography most?
FH: I can't answer this one too easily. I am not good at leisurely pursuits, I don't get golf or fishing, and I cycle to keep fit (but secretly hate it). So, really, the thing I love doing most is taking pictures that work - but that isn't always easy.
JMI: Do you ever find yourself influenced by other artists' work?
FH: I constantly visit both art and photography exhibitions, and look stuff up online. So yes, I am definitely inspired by other artists' work - Bill Brant, Guy Bourdan, Man Ray, Andre Kertesz, Alex Prager, Ryan McGinley, and Steven Meisel.
JMI: You've shot everything from conceptual pieces to portraits to lifestyle work...Do you prefer one style of shooting to the others?
FH: I just like taking pictures, and the cooperation and interaction between the crew and the subjects. I guess my favorite is conceptual.
JMI: Really? Which conceptual piece of yours is your favorite?
FH: The guy smoking in the foreground with the girl on the bed.
JMI: I love that photograph! My favorite of yours is the one you shot for Brooks saddles, where the hounds are chasing down the man and woman holding the fox (pictured above). Every aspect of that photograph is absolutely perfect. What's the story behind this shot?
FH: The original idea was from a modest but wonderfully crazy art director, Fabio Fedrigo. He is Italian and looks at British culture with a different perspective. The shot took weeks to prepare and negotiate. None of the hunt clubs would cooperate because they thought it was too "anti-hunt," and the producer struggled to find someone who would provide the hounds. Also, it was shot in late-October, and the weather was awful. I had about 7 assistants on this shoot, and they were run ragged - chasing dogs, covering light from the rain, and pumping smoke across the background. Everybody was covered with mud by the end of the shoot.
JMI: That sounds chaotic! What is your typical approach on shoot days? Do you walk into a shoot with a particular focus, or are you more "go-with-the-flow"?
FH: I am a maniacal researcher...no way "go-with-the-flow." I try to research and plan every aspect of the shoot - even the catering (a happy crew is a well-fed crew)! Clearly there will be spontaneous moments, but only within the original planning.
JMI: Looking forward, is there anything new and exciting on the horizon for you?
FH: There's this woman I met who makes these really strange masks - decorative, gold masks. She's an artist and is doing really well in London. I have an idea to do something with that soon. I've also been shooting portraits lately, of mothers and children we've met in the park, etc. I have various projects up my sleeve...
The PDN Photo Annual 2012 winners have been announced and this year's Photo Annual issue is now avaliable! We wanted to wish a huge congratulations to Frank Herholdt who won the Stock Photography award for his image "Gymnast In the Forest". Shot in a forest outside of Cape Town South Africa, Frank played the role of both photographer and art director.
Frank says that he was inspired by early morning exersise for this particular shot and was excited to share that the model was a "genuine gymnast" that a local production company found. Frank also shared that the shoot took only a few hours because he had spent time at the location the day before checking the light, timing of the sun and rigging the ropes.
Congratulations Frank on this award!
Shot Taken from PDN Photo Annual 2012 Issue.
Frank Herholdt won the Press Award at the 6th Annual Arte Lunga awards! The awards were held in Venice, Italy at the Nappe of the Arsenale of Venice attracting established critics, curators, directors, foundations and art lovers from all over the world! According to the italian art news blog "Artribune" this year was the largest showing at Arte Lunga, which has developed into an "international competition dedicated to the latest trends in visual arts." Frank recieved the award for his image entitled "Morris Minor" which we have included below:
A huge congratulations to Frank for this great prize!
To see more of Frank Herholdt's work, check out the JMI site!
[wpvideo 3wexdfPL] Frank Herholdt created this test using stills that he shot for an anti-smoking campaign in London. Some of the actual stills are below.