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"Thanks to Kunert’s meticulous craftsmanship, it sometimes takes a few moments for viewers to realize they’re looking at a model. Many of the photographs appear to depict a quotidian scene of domestic life—dining room, a nursery—except for the inclusion of a single jarring detail, like a cradle mounted atop a motorcycle. 'I play with perceptions, words, and thoughts,' Kunert explains. 'Often they have to do with human hopes, fears, and problems, and I try to see all this with a certain sense of humor.' Kunert also loves to create dystopian architecture, like a hotel with rooms accessible only by scaling the outer wall, or a tiny apartment squeezed under a freeway overpass. Many of the images, such as the one depicting a steering wheel in front of a living room window, evoke the work of French surrealist René Magritte. Like Magritte, Kunert delivers his social satire with a light, playful touch. 'The world is crazy and absurd,' he says. 'In my opinion, humor in art is a good way of dealing with this.'"
"Kunert’s works walk a fine line between the humorous and the ominous."
"In his miniatures Kunert captures serious topics. However, he manages to add humor to tragic situations.
"Kunert plays with habits of seeing and deceives viewers of his pictures. His photos fascinate with their profound sense of humor and at times subtle tragedy."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Still others push deeper into the uncanny, so that the building of models becomes a sublimation of violence. Frank Kunert’s Menu à deux shows a long table, covered in linen and laid with silver, that bends 90 degrees around a corner, so that two diners can watch two separate televisions and pretend they’re alone."
Will Heinrich, The New York Observer
"'The building of dioramas for me is a way . . . to control the things that I can’t control in the real world. It’s always exciting to dive into the small world in my studio,' writes Frank Kunert, the creator of a series of adorably absurd tableaux. In one, an adult-sized cradle comes equipped with all the comforts of the home office: telephone, file folders—even sad-looking plants."
Ariella Budick, Financial Times
"In Frank Kunert’s Menu à Deux, meanwhile, the V-shaped dining table and perfectly symmetrical place settings imply a (nonexistent) mirror—or perhaps a difficult relationship."
Karen Rosenberg, The New York Times
"All told, it is hard for me to consider this book only a book of photography. Despite the fact that it presents a certain approach to photography, and that the end result is photography to me, this project seems to possess first and foremost the characteristics of the visual arts: installation, objects, staging. Kunert's subtlety and his striving for visual anarchy are fun and thought-provoking, and yet his work leaves you with the sneaking suspicion that the scenes he depicts, albeit exaggeratedly, were all inspired by very real sources. And this means that Kunert's satire may just cause your smile to freeze on your lips."
Review of Topsy-Turvy World in PHOTONEWS
"Like many artists, Frank Kunert, who was born in Frankfurt in 1963, makes models based on real life so that he can take pictures of them. In contrast to the more renowned Thomas Demand, however, Kunert refrains from employing the pathos of history with a capital H. Instead, he uncovers the dreams and the fears of our time by finding irony in small things."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag
"These models have been designed and photographed with love, and you’ll only discover their subtle irony after a second take."
"He creates a fascinating and absurd everyday world."
"Want to have contact with the afterlife? This presents no problem in the amazing world of Frank Kunert. Born in Frankfurt in 1963, this artist fashions tombstones with their very own mail slots for newspapers and mail. And in his other works, also, Kunert enjoys turning reality on its head. But if Photoshop tricks a la Doc Baumann are the first thing that pop into your head, think again. Kunert puts his scenes together with meticulous handiwork, not via computer—which would make things simply move too fast. His way of working slows things down, and it is exactly this laid-back style that may very well be the secret to his whacky ideas. The more absurd, the better! One example is a slide that ends in the middle of the autobahn, which is popular with families with children. 'Parents love their kids, but parents also moan about their kids. And it’s when the slide comes into the picture.'"
"There is a touch of exquisite malice that makes one immediately think of photo montage, but Kunert (born in 1963), in fact builds all of the miniature scenes himself."
Ulrich von Döltzschen, DIE WELT
"And the impressions that these images leave behind are mind-boggling. When in doubt, a second take never hurts."
Detlef Sundermann, Frankfurter Rundschau
"With his models of scenes, Kunert literally builds homes for his ideas. Thoughts and word games are rendered in 3D, which makes them perceptible in the truest sense of the word. His ideas are condensed and made manifest in objects, and this makes his miniatures handcrafted curiosities. With painstaking diligence and a mind-boggling eye for detail, he works on his scenes until everything in them is perfect, and looks just like the real thing. Frank Kunert overrides reality in a subtle and profound way."
"Kunert’s comedies plumb the depths of life."
"His specialty: building miniatures and then taking photos of them. The results looks so real, you’ll want to dive right in to one of his pools to cool off."
"These models are so likeable. This is wonderful work. Truly wonderful."
Jörg Schneider, plan.F, Frankfurter Rundschau
"The scenes automatically reveal short tales that function just like the nonsense poetry of Robert Gernhardt; they put familiar perspectives and stories on their heads."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Frank Kunert contends with the threadbare vocabulary of concepts used in our time by building, modeling and tinkering around in a simply delightful way. And just like his works, his trade, too, seems to be constantly shifting sides. Is he an architect? A storyteller? Or a photographer? Frank Kunert is all of the above, but most of all, he is a one-of-a-kind equivocator and a player of ideas."
"The amount of imagination put into Frank Kunert’s miniature worlds knows no bounds!"
Natascha Kempf, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"This world may be small, but the possibilities are great!"
Silke Hohmann, Frankfurter Rundschau