Krisztian Eder photographed his girlfriend in bed as they fell in love
His new zine, 'April Breeze', takes place all in one room.
Krisztian Eder remembers very clearly the first time he shot a roll of film. It was 2005 and, on a ski trip to Austria with a freshly-broken arm, he had little else to do for a week other than take photos on a small compact camera. The rest, as they say, is history.
Born and raised in a small Hungarian city called Sopron, Krisztian moved to Budapest at 18 to study photography, before selling everything and moving to New York in 2015. His most formative interactions with the art form came via Gregory Crewdson’s Twilight, a surreal and unsettling exploration of suburban America, and André Kertész’s work documenting the streets of Budapest in the early 20th century. These days, his work can be found in plenty of magazines, offering a clean, elegant approach to imagery that touches on symbols of his Hungarian heritage.
“I have difficulty finding the words to define my work and the stories they may or may not tell,” he says of his approach. “In the instance that I take an image, I'm not yet aware of what the subject will explain, or perhaps if it will explain anything at all.” Acknowledging an underlying motif of life and death in his practice, Krisztian also enjoys finding “the play between the dichotomy in existence”.
His new zine may look and feel as light and airy as its name – April Breeze – suggests, but here too lies an interesting tension. Shot entirely in one room, a safe bubble for him and a new partner, we find ourselves invited into a halcyon environment, knowing outside those four walls was something entirely different. His subject lies in bed, oftentimes nude and dappled in soft afternoon sunlight. Outside, the pandemic rages.
Tell us about April Breeze – the name, how it started, what it became as time went on?
I’m not a person of words, and I don’t believe language is my way of expressing my thoughts, so I use photography as a tool for understanding people and myself.
My main focus at the time was on a woman I met in a bar in Brooklyn. We started dating, and by the time the pandemic hit, I fell in love with the April Breeze. I fell in love with Brooke.
It wasn’t a conscious decision to create a body of work on this subject matter, but as time went on, I became interested in the idea of repetition and rhythm, and I realised this could work as a universal approach.
A lot of art made within the pandemic has faced inwards, both in homes and into people's minds – can you relate to that with this project?
I can. Introspection felt inescapable during this pandemic. It helped me realise that I don’t need to be in constant motion to create, or be in exotic places to find inspiration. Instead, inspiration finds me. And in the most ordinary moments, in my most personal spaces, in my loved ones, and myself.
There's no obvious passing of time as the series progresses – the clock hands move and the curtains sometimes close – but it feels quite shielded from the outside. What has your pandemic experience been like?
I feel very fortunate for the experience I've had during this pandemic. I had the opportunity to learn more about myself and someone I adored at the same time. In moments I felt like a kid, almost as if we had a mission to complete together. Work felt effortless, that life presented me with one subject which naturally held my undivided attention. I was able to lean into each minor detail, creating a meticulously layered project.
Has it affected your creativity or drive to make work?
I think this experience has ignited a new consciousness in my work. The enjoyment of creating has become my priority, while the outcome is much less relevant. That isn't to say that I don't value the result, but moreover, I believe genuine presence will bring value to the product itself. In other words, surrendering to the power of inspiration allows it to show up without expectations. This idea not only relieves me of the pressure to create "good content" but invites me to find pleasure in the process.
Is there a single image that means the most to you in this book?
I believe these images are intended to be seen as a whole and each image is incomparable to the next.
‘April Breeze’, a limited edition zine containing a sequence of 22 photographs, is available to purchase here.
All images courtesy of Krisztian Eder