Photography first sparked Markus Henttonen’s interest through his passion in skateboarding. He wanted to improve the illustrations in 1990s Finnish skateboarding magazines, and took up the challenge himself. Soon photography took over skateboarding, and Henttonen realized that was what he really wanted to pursue in life.
Since his skateboarding days, Henttonen has widened his repertoire into commercial shoots and editorials as well as worked on his personal art projects. He is currently working on his third photography book project Twisted Tales. His most recent finished series of works, Silent Night,was initiated in 2011 when the artist was traveling in Los Angeles.
The series portrays American houses and their light decorations during the holiday seasons. The contrast between the lonely, gleaming houses and the dark, quiet streets inspired Henttonen to discuss absence and presence and the questions related to danger and security in his work. The photographs are like twisted micro realities where the unexpected and menace meet the familiar, domestic sphere of suburban life.
Over the years Henttonen’s style has slowly shifted from documentary approach into more narrative-driven expression, although it is characteristic to his work to leave the final work open to interpretations. This is also visible in the photographs of Silent Night; the absence of people in the pictures presents the houses in an uncanny light, inviting the viewers to fill the gaps and create their own narratives.
“There is always a lot more in the images than the first glance may reveal – it is important to give the viewer a chance to see below the surface, dive deeper through the plain visual stimulation,” Henttonen explains.
Images: from the series Silent Night 2012-2014
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