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Photographer Matthias Heiderich gives the gritty city a technicolour spin

‘The city is a wonderful and a terrible place at the same time,’ says photographer Matthias Heiderich.

His work captures this duality, giving a candy-coloured spin to the gritty city and blurring the boundaries between graphic design and photography. It’s earned him a cult following on Instagram in the process.

Heiderich got his start in Berlin, where he began shooting the famously grey city with a technicolour bent. And it’s a technique he’s honed during his travels. ‘I see it as part of my photographic work to find colourful spots in the city and I’ve spent a lot of time during the last few years finding as many as possible in Berlin.’

In his latest series, Materials II, however, he’s taken a different tack. While many of the images capture the vibrant interplay of colour and texture, there’s also more subtle theme that comes to the fore… Unsung ‘functional’ spaces that act as thoroughfares, from staircases, and corridors, to foyers and escalators in buildings.

‘Part of the job of architects and designers is to come up with solutions that make dwelling in and moving around inside houses feel as natural and easy as possible,’ he says. ‘I’m interested in the manifold solutions they come up with – and how inhabitants in return shape their surroundings over time.’

After collaborating with Vampire Weekend artist Chris Baio on the artwork for his debut album, Heiderich is once again preparing for a sonically-inspired collaboration…

Matthias Heiderich, Materials II
Photography: Matthias Heiderich

‘My new project is cross-media: I’m working with a French publisher and experimental music producer from Berlin [to put together] a book that comes with a physical sound carrier,’ he says. Tentatively titled Alveare – which means beehive – the volume will comprise unseen images of post-war Italian housing architecture, with tracks inspired by those images.

‘I’ve spent a lot of time walking the endless corridors of huge housing projects such as Nuova Corviale in Lazio, and Rozzol Melara in Trieste, Italy,’ says Heiderich of the project.

Alveare will be released in early 2017, so watch this space…

Read next: Andy Donohoe photographs the concrete curves of Tadao Ando’s Sayamaike Museum



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