Dmitry Konradt St Petersburg 2001 Photograph 40 x 60 cm Edition of 5
Dmitry Konradt (born St Petersburg 1954) started photographing the underground artists and rock musicians of Leningrad, in collaboration with the St Petersburg avant-garde theatres Derevo and AKHE. From 1986 he started working in colour, focusing on abstract forms in the city landscape. Unlike ‘official’ photographers of the time, who adhered to the revolutionary formalistic standard in place since the late 1920s, Konradt unveiled a very different St Petersburg. Through his lens, the city suddenly acquired colour. These were not the brash, vivid colours of pop art, but subdued and opaque, much like the cinematography of Andrei Tarkovsky and Alexander Sokurov that Konradt so admired. Konradt’s preferred technique is to magnify reality. He roams the city’s backyards in search of a hardly visible crack in a wall, and then magnifies it with his camera so that others can admire it too. He relishes minute details: the texture of an old wall, peeling layers of paint. His St Petersburg is modest and unobtrusive, drawing out the quiet beauty behind the facades of imperial grandeur.