boogie

Originally published in full over at Don’t Panic Online, and all images are Boogie’s.

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Born in Serbia but often based in NYC, Boogie is a seasoned photograper with an acute eye. His work tends to focus on urban lifestyles and social tension. Through his lens images of gang initiation, drug abuse, poverty and isolation are imbued with a gracefulness and humanity. Sharp details and blurred edges combine to create an almost-tangible atmosphere for the viewer. Equal turns raw and refined, Boogie’s work is undeniably captivating. That he’s prolific is an added bonus. Boogie doesn’t ask questions, he just shoots.

Istanbul, Turkey, 2007

Your work walks a beautiful, curious line between documentary and portraiture. It that boundary line important to the ideas you’re communicating? 

I don’t really think when I shoot, I just do it. For me, photography is similar to martial arts, to fighting. If you practice certain move million times, when the time comes to use it, your body will just react. Same goes for photography. Thinking is the enemy. I don’t have intellectual ideas about what I’m trying to communicate, I just follow my gut.

Most of your work focuses on the urban landscape and environment. Why? Do you handle the people in the urban environments differently than the things? 

I love concrete. I’m a city kid, streets are where I feel at home, what I’ve always been around. Although I have different phases of shooting different things, different environments. From time to time I get obsessed with birds, flowers etc. About people: lately I’m not that much after them. Before I thought that you have to have a human being in the photo in order for it to be good. But now I catch myself waiting for people to leave the frame.

Bangkok, Thailand, June 2011

When you share your work, what images do you find that viewers gravitate more towards?  

I think people gravitate more toward rough images, more shocking, whether they have people in them or not. People are drawn to things and situations that they don’t encounter in their daily life. But I don’t think about that, somehow those situations just come up.

Some of your pictures have really shocking, disturbing subject matter, but it’s still relatively simple for a viewer to experience those. What’s going through your head as you’re recording those moments, behind the lens but so close to tragedy?

When I’m shooting some emotionally heavy situations, I automatically detach myself somehow. At that moment I don’t think I feel anything, but it always comes to me later. Sometimes it can hit you years later. Everyone will tell you there are lines that are not supposed to be crossed, but those lines can easily get blurred, and the deeper you go, the more interesting it gets, and the better pictures you take.

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laissez les bon temps rouler,

the girl

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