For Martin Bogren (Sweden, 1967), called "a master of the everyday sublime" by Sean O`Hagan, photography is a way to understand one`s place in the world. The camera could be key or shield, depending on the mood of the artist. Bogren`s photographs may be described at poetic, cinematic, evocative, romantic or mysterious, yet they also elude any such qualification.
Initially influenced by Anders Peterson, whose work in a "personal documentary style" is marked by intimacy and highly-contrasted black-and-white photographs, Bogren`s work has become softer and more subtle, gently grained and often out-of-focus like any good Julia Cameron or Alfred Stieglitz. It was Petersen who once told Bogren that he was "too good a photographer", and that he better forget about his identity. Meanwhile the self-taught Bogren is more and more relaxed about not knowing what he will be shooting. Bogren`s work seems to breathe analog photography, yet he inserts digital steps in between to original film and the resulting gelatin silver prints. The interaction between the analog and the digital is something he`s learned from musicians, one of whom said that he "could`ve never sound as analog without the help of the computer".
Music is where it began for Bogren, who in the 1990s toured with bands as a music photographer, most extensively with The Cardigans, which resulted in a book in 1997. In the past fifteen years, Bogren published one personal photo book after another, from the acclaimed Tractor Boys (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2013) to the expertly produced Italia (Max Ström, 2017). For two upcoming books, Bogren is experimenting with inserting color photographs in between his monochromatic work, in fading colors seemingly hesitating about wanting to become color.