Boris Grozdanic Gorjan's Interview


As you wrote in your biography, you have always loved reading books since you were only a child and you have also approached music ... would you like to talk to us about the readings that inspired you the most and how music enters your photographs?

As a very young child, I was very keen on adventures novels and sci-fi books. I have read most of Jules Verne and Karl May opuses. All of the Sherlock Holmes stories and lots of Agatha Christie's detective novels.


When I grew up, I had a very bad accident, in which I almost lost my life and after this dramatic episode, I became aware of the existence's fragility... the possibility of facing the end of life and all that comes after that.


I still vividly remember a time in my life when I often asked my mother why we have to die. Is after that all over? Could we no longer repeat what we have left behind? From this point, I jumped into more philosophical questions: what is life, what will happen in the afterlife, is it possible the reincarnation?



Music is still very important in my life. I am keen on the more demanding genres, I like jazz or music that seems too complex or too emotionally heavy for most people. Creating music was one of my first artistic expressions. The band, with whom I released a CD, still exists.


What are your other sources of inspiration?

Recently, Nature is returning as the main source again. It is the absolute source of all we are and at the same time, it is the direct reflection of who we are. I believe we are the creation and the creator at the same time.

What do you like about computer graphics? Have you been a graphic designer, would you like to tell us about some of your most creative and artistic projects?

As an avid reader, I was intrigued by how to make a book. I was fascinated by the figure of Gutenberg, by the invention and the history of printing. Later, I discovered graphics software. Of course, we are talking about many years ago, when the hard disk of a computer was less than today's video card ram! I plumbed the subject, digging deeper into the technology. I worked as a graphic designer for many years, mainly elaborating catalogues, I basically came to photography through photoshop, adjusting pictures for catalogues and publications. So, after a while, I realized that my real passion was photography.



Would you like to tell us about which photo shoots did you find most stimulating in your work for advertising agencies?

I still love to work for architecture and interior design companies. I don't recall a particular shooting, but overall it is a commercial photography field that I really like. All those lines and forms are just so beautiful in photo composition.

You started to work with a few renowned photographers as an assistant, who were them? How they helped you to find your way to approach photography?

I learned a lot from Jorg Ceglar, an architect turned photojournalist. His love of the golden ratio and of Cartier-Bresson was so contagious! Then I worked a lot with Dragan Arrigler, still life and architecture photographer who, despite coming from film photography, learned to develop photoshop and compositing at a high level, in his advanced age. It is never too late for learning and achieving incredible results with the new technologies and digital programs available.

Would you like to tell us about your experience at the IED in Milan and your relationship with the mentor Stefano Babic?

Stefano is a great fashion photographer, who has worked with prestigious clients throughout his career. An easygoing person, who basically made me move from a planned kind of people photography (portraits, beauty, fashion) to a more intuitive one and taught me how to catch the moment... he showed me that it is more important the feelings that move your sensibility than very precise lighting on a picture.



What fascinates you about artists like Kandinsky, Malevich, Rothko and the brilliant teachers and students of the Bauhaus?

Well, all these artists began with classical and figurative painting, elaborated still lifes or realistic landscapes and, finally, de-constructed academic art to seek new solutions. They changed the way of interpreting and representing reality, trying to reflect their inner sensations on the surface of the canvas, they also abstracted natural shapes.


My appreciation for them, I guess, comes from my love of Architecture and of the rationality behind their paintings. They overcome canonical beauty and suggest a new kind of beauty. This metamorphic process is similar to the turning point that led Picasso to discover Cubism. From academic art to the avant-garde.



Your idea of beauty is closely linked to the balance, between light and shadow, in the harmony of natural and artificial forms… do you want to deepen these two concepts "beauty" and balance "?

Beauty: it should be anything that isn't ugly. What is ugly? It is a very personal vision. For me even in the most common things, it's possible to find beauty. In my dried flower petals, there is a huge amount of delicate texture, beautiful soft colours. I think it's great to listen to the silence.



Can you imagine the loudness of silence? It is the same thing with the subtleness, with the finesse.

In nowadays over-pumped, too often completely flat colours, being able to see and then to show a "silent" colour is a true virtue.

the colour has to be balanced with the theme and the background of the picture. The balance of the shapes inside the picture is fundamental too.

Why did you choose to photograph flower petals as if they were single drops, single extracts of vanity and grace?

Majority of flowers are photographed when they are in full bloom, at the peak of their glory, beauty and, as you say vanity. This approach is true even if we consider today's obsession with plastic surgery and the perfect face, resorting too numerous retouching with Photoshop.

In that way, I am very close to great Peter Lindbergh's late thought, focused on a faithful representation of what exists.


So I wanted to focus on a single petal for each photo, on a specific type of petal that hardly anyone notices, as they are usually thrown away before reaching this stage, before reaching the decay. And the same principle is why I used the white background: I wanted to isolate the single petal and maximize the veins and the structure of the petal.

I just wish to show the potential beauty there is in every single, tiny petal!


The texture is everything there, I tried to demonstrate it in the best possible way. The observer has to be able to almost feel (and mentally touch) the texture. The viewer can understand its tactile quality: I think of the texture of old parchments, or of the paper of some ancient books. In order to print this series, I used silky smooth textured paper, a gentle surface to match the flowers.

And so we came back to the starting point of our interview: the books. I read a lot on kindle, but there is nothing like a book! I've moved a couple of times... the heavy load has always been the boxes full of books. Even more than the photo equipment!Majority of flowers are photographed when they are in full bloom, at the peak of their glory, beauty and, as you say vanity. This approach is true even if we consider today's obsession with plastic surgery and the perfect face, resorting too numerous retouching with Photoshop.

In that way, I am very close to great Peter Lindbergh's late thought, focused on a faithful representation of what exists.


So I wanted to focus on a single petal for each photo, on a specific type of petal that hardly anyone notices, as they are usually thrown away before reaching this stage, before reaching the decay. And the same principle is why I used the white background: I wanted to isolate the single petal and maximize the veins and the structure of the petal.

I just wish to show the potential beauty there is in every single, tiny petal!


The texture is everything there, I tried to demonstrate it in the best possible way. The observer has to be able to almost feel (and mentally touch) the texture. The viewer can understand its tactile quality: I think of the texture of old parchments, or of the paper of some ancient books. In order to print this series, I used silky smooth textured paper, a gentle surface to match the flowers.

And so we came back to the starting point of our interview: the books. I read a lot on kindle, but there is nothing like a book! I've moved a couple of times... the heavy load has always been the boxes full of books. Even more than the photo equipment!


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