Thomas Steinert – Master of melancholy

Ein kleines Ständchen?

Ein kleines Ständchen? (Thomas Steinert, undated)

Interesting article (in German, but you can look at the pictures anyway) about East German photographer Thomas Steinert.

Steinert, at the time a convinced socialist, captured the daily life in the communist state with his Pentacon Six camera. As a member of the State Artists Group he was obliged to participate in exhibitions, but his photos were always returned to him unused as they were not perceived as art. He had no agenda except capturing life as it was in a fairly neutral way. Unfortunately this banality and tristesse was too honest for the state and he never gained any attention. He could not afford to print exhibition size until the fall of the wall when East German photo supplies were sold for next to nothing.

Steinert has since largely given up photography, because of the digital onslaught as he says. He made the effort to publish his book “Connewitzer Welttheater” in 2007, with photos taken in the rundown district of Connewitz in Leipzig. He is working as an extra for television productions.

PS: Apologies to Herr Steinert for the error in his first name. More images here.