Markus Henttonen is a Finnish photographer who released his road trip compendium Twisted Tales – Road to Hope late last year on Hatje Cantz. The photographs are an intriguing exploration of sexuality, light, freedom and mystery. We sought Markus out to get the background story behind the book and the road trip.
The original idea for the project came as I was experiencing some challenging times in my life and career. I was finishing up my previous Silent Night -series and was staying in L.A. One weekend we went to a flea market over at Melrose and I found this huge box of old photographs.
I was immediately fascinated by all the stories that pile of images had, happy moments, landscapes from along the way, graduation portraits, wedding photos. I actually photographed that pile and said to my wife then that I know what my next project is and this will be the cover.
But the project took 3 years to finish so you can kind of say it has been a road trip on its own. The whole process, from the first idea into a ready exhibition and book. This whole work is about life and it is a unique travel for each of us. It is filled with dreams, memories, fears and hopes.
For me, it has been a huge learning process as well. I worked different than before, more flexible and kind of let go of all the rules I had set to myself. Working on this project I came to find the joy in my photography all over again.
My roots in photography are more in documentary approach and my first influences were more classical photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastião Salgado and Helmut Newton for example. I want my images to have somewhat classical elements but also something new and fresh all the time. In my work, I am an explorer and always want to try out new things.