Wandering in an imaginary city, Metropolia invites the viewer on a dreamlike stroll punctuated by enigmatic encounters. The urban space is apprehended in fragments, guessed over the silhouettes that we cross there. Mists, exploded grains, sometimes saturated lights, shades of grey, monochrome colors playing with cold blues or warm oranges, with Bogren the visual experience becomes sensitive.
He brings in color photographs for the first time, which punctuate the B&W:
‘The use of color was a way to rebel against myself, as the photographer explains in the interview of the book, to see if I could do something totally new. With black-and-white, I started to know a little too much about what I was doing, while color was like a foreign language that I learned slowly. But to tell you the truth, my color images are very monochromatic.’
Capturing intimacy, expressing the fragile, showing the impermanence of things: Martin Bogren’s visual universe reveals the illusion of the world. His images capture on their surface a reality that dissolves but that the art of the photographer has been able to capture in extremis, by stealth.
About the Author
Swedish photographer, lives in Malmö. In the 1990s, Martin Bogren developed a personal approach to documentary photography by following Swedish musicians and artists on stage, tour, and studio. His first book “The Cardigans – Been It », published at the top of the group’s success in 1996 , reveals his work and launches his career. Martin Bogren however aims at going beyond assignments and music fields : he focuses on more personal photographic work.
Travels encounters, (Notes, 2008, Italia, 2016), joy of first discoveries (Ocean, 2008), or teenage spleen (Lowlands, 2011, Tractors boys, 2013, Embraces, 2014) : his works reveal a vivid desire to avoid boredom and to reach an elsewhere. He gets in contact with his subjects as a silent witness, as a subtle and caring observer. Through grainy black-and-white and highly grey nuanced photographs, he succeeds in combining a documentary approach with a sensitive affirmation of his subjective vision.
« I think photography is about searching. But when we have found what we were looking for, we will automatically stop looking for it, right? I don’t know what I’m looking for. Probably a recognition of myself in others, and others in myself – a community with others and a togetherness.
This mirroring, this reflection, I believe is an ongoing process in our lives – with or without the camera in our hands. I believe this search is the main reason for us being here and photography can be a wonderful thing for it. »
In addition to numerous grants and prizes in Sweden, his work is recognized internationally and part of several prestigious collections – including the Forografiska Museet (Stockholm), the Oregon Art Museum (Portland) and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. He is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including Tractor Boys, Italia and August Song.