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About Frank StöckelPhotographer Frank Stöckel has always imagined the landscape of his North German home between Kiel and Lübeck as something corporeal, alive, seemingly breathing. He has never lost his intense connection to this place. Even while he earned his keep in Hamburg with editorial work and practical projects, he dedicated himself increasingly to his freelance work on nature and its magic. In his
BACKGROUND INFORMATIONPhotographer Frank Stöckel has always imagined the landscape of his North German home between Kiel and Lübeck as something corporeal, alive, seemingly breathing. He has never lost his intense connection to this place. Even while he earned his keep in Hamburg with editorial work and practical projects, he dedicated himself increasingly to his freelance work on nature and its magic.
In his undoubtedly most haunting photo series, he tells a story of the rare white breed of red deer. An encounter with this wondrous creature, which was brought by Hungarian noblemen to western European courts in the eighteenth century as a small, luck-inducing gift, supposedly transported any viewer to a mythical and magical world. White, the color of purity and innocence, of immaculateness and the holy, seemed to link the peaceful animals to the mythical unicorn that frolicked in the company of virgins in medieval images of the Garden of Paradise.
Stöckel’s images from the Eekholt nature reserve bring to life something of this imaginary, holy world– and that in the middle of Germany. And that’s not all: Stöckel’s works are also specifically photographic. These are neither miniatures from the medieval age of the Minnesang, nor Romantic aquarelles – no, they are photographs, which intensifies their magic by underscoring their authenticity.
Stöckel’s works brilliantly master the tightrope walk between secrecy and kitsch in their strict, minimalist graphic style, erasing any trace of sweetness and affording the white creatures their immediacy. He trusts in the effect of his motif – just as noblemen did long before the invention of photography as they kept the unique animals on their palace grounds. Both Stöckel and the erstwhile nobles rely on similar aesthetic constructions, and the latter surely employed the beasts to impress aristocratic society. Our fascination with the creatures today remains unbroken, and yet Frank Stöckel lends the subject his own formal twist.
1959 born in Eutin, Germany 1980 – 1985 Social Pedagogy in Braunschweig; participation at art and photography seminars by Ute Walter 1985 – 1990 Education in Photography and assistance in Hamburg since 1990 free photographer with own Studio in Hamburg; commercial and editorial photography since 1999 Member of the Bund Freischaffender Foto-Designer e. V. (BFF)