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Friday, December 08, 2006

Mean Streets

Serbian photographer Boogie discusses taking to New York's seedy streets and capturing the true lives of junkies and gangsters.

By Scott Thill,

America's unending war on poverty and drugs has been about as successful as its unending war on terror, mainly because its enemies are abstractions. Meanwhile, the real worlds (not the ones you see on MTV) of drug and thug culture have been left to wither, like its victims and champions, beneath a glossy simulacrum.

Few are those souls who seek to document and transmit the routinized pain and addiction of these worlds—worlds filled with everything but Cristal Champagne, Hummers and supermodels. Rather, they are the scenes of unending wars whose only victory is another fix; once each fix is achieved the whole process starts over again like a nightmarish rerun. So it should come as no surprise that those who journey into the hearts of darkness that pump lifeblood into these circular hells might know their way around a war zone.

Such is the story of the photographer Boogie, whose gritty photography collection, "It's All Good," out now from New York's powerHouse Books, chronicles the lives of thugs, hustlers and addicts without artifice. Currently based in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was born and raised in Serbia, and was eventually mired waist-deep in that conflict-torn country's unremitting violence and war during the '90s. After serving his stint in the military and getting lucky with a lottery draw for a green card, he fled the country for safer environs, only to be pulled back into the violent battle for the soul's deliverance, this time in a drug-addicted New York that looks nothing like the megamall environs favored by Rudolph Guiliani, George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg. In fact, "It's All Good" is a visual document that would most likely give those three fits, filled as it is with could-give-a-fuck individuals living fix to fix, fight to fight, weapon to weapon....

READ THE INTERVIEW WITH BOOGIE (Note that because it's Salon, you have to wait through the ad you'll see first....)

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON, with thanks to Will

Charlie Didrickson found this link, with some of Boogie's photographs.


Blogger roberts2424 said...

What's interesting is how your site can "take" images from other sites such as Salon without giving credit.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"What's interesting is how your site can "take" images from other sites such as Salon without giving credit."

It's not "interesting," it's called Fair Use under the Copyright Act, and it's perfectly appropriate and absolutely legal. Secondly, we DO give credit, right after the byline, again perfectly appropriately. Third, the entire item is a LINK, which you might have noticed if you'd looked at it for more than three seconds. We're sending people to Salon, not diverting them from it.

Sorry to sound peeved, but your comment is offensive.


8:02 AM  
Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

Excellent link Mike.

"what's interesting" is his great work. Very powerful and fabulously candid look inside a world most people have no interest in.

Except of course the glamourized cash cow that is Hollywood and the music industry.

Brilliant stuff IMO

Found this link:

3:16 PM  
Blogger Phil Brown said...

... and of course there's this link:
Superb stuff.

3:48 PM  
Blogger saoslund said...

Life is not a dress rehearsal. As an ER doc, I see this stuff ad nauseum. The "homie" with the Latin Kings w/ Crown tatoo plastered against a surgically explored belly (likely the result of a stab or gun shot wound) says it all. King of what? A total waste. Quite frankly, I find the posed images of the gun totin' gangstas revolting. Just more glorification of a completely dead existance. These are truly dead men walking.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I was lucky to see Boogie present some of the photos in his book in New York. Great stuff. Good stories, too.

9:50 PM  

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