Carl Kleiner – There Will Be Blood

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“This series came to life when I was sketching out a project for Google this spring,” says Stockholm-based photographer Carl Kleiner.

“The brief was to create strong, graphic compositions with paper as the raw material. The images had to be easy to use as backgrounds for lots of formats. In previous work my paper arrangements have been flat, sometimes using a trompe l’oeil effect, but always layered flat. In an attempt to move forward I changed from using a very soft ambient light to a razor sharp, hard, direct light. The shadow suddenly became a key player… I liked this technique so started to develop it in my own time.”

Kleiner, who is represented by London photography agency, Mini Title, began experimenting with different levels and angles, folding, cutting and bending the paper to create compositions playing with shape, shadow and colour. The images from There will be blood were created in front of or under a camera, he says, with each composition “giving birth to itself”.

“I tried to do sketches first, but found these got in the way of the process,” explains the 31-year-old. “I knew what I wanted to achieve in terms of composition, and the best way of getting there was to let the images come to me during the process of making them. I don’t want to send a message, the images are more studies in composition and colour.”

Describing the workflow as “quick and direct”, Kleiner says this series is fairly typical of the way he likes to work. “Over the years, geometry has always been an important subject to me – what is new in this series is that I don’t follow any geometric rules, at least not intentionally,” he says. “Bam! Swoosh! Pow! My ambition is to create violent or aggressive compositions. I want to hit the spot were the composition shakes you.”