why i love Rob Hornstra.

Rob Hornstra is a Dutch photographer born in 1975. He usually publishes his own photography- documentary books, usually depicting modern Russia. Having studied Social and Legal Services first, and after having worked as a probation officer and bartender, he went on to study photographic design at the Utrecht School of the Arts. Upon graduation he has worked for a lot of newspapers and magazines and long term personal projects. Since he considers books much more important than exhibitions, he wants to edit and be in charge of everything he publishes. When he is not on a photographic documentary mission he does not carry a camera, but when he takes his famous snapshots he prefers to use medium and large format cameras.

His snapshot style as well as his subject matter (post-soviet, post-communist Russia) definitely got me interested at once. In his work he chooses to depict the people on the margins of the capitalism explosion, those who never cashed in -former factory workers, cab drivers, drug addicts, homeless people. His kind of honesty might often come as a shock to some but is quite liberating to others, because looking behind the facade of money and wealth the way Hornstra does. The atmosphere is realistic and nostalgic at the same time, the colours are intimate and radiating a warmth that is not so common in documentary photography, the person seems familiar and so does the setting. Of course I also love the distinct surrealist touch to be found in his amazingly precise snapshot style.

All images belong to the artist.


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