With his layered explorations created using Photoshop, 2014 Foam Talent Andrey Bogush reshapes his images into something resembling an abstract painting made of histograms, vector shapes and patterns. The layers melt together, scratches reveal inner layers and saturated clouds of color hover over the picture. Bogush instinctively combines many digital layers into one final image, an image that pushes at the boundaries of photographic language. We asked him more about his work and using digital manipulation as a medium.
What is the significance of these Photoshop interventions?
“First, It is a fast and quite straight-forward tool. It takes me to a very specific way of labor with its dependency on that tool. Some parts of it are working and some constantly producing delays and unpredictable actions. That is extremely interesting.
“Second, Photoshop is making you work with layers. Layers or rasters and vectors. They construct different types of time and spatial arrangements. And those collapse in one in one: what I am able to do with the photographic image, where is the border between virtual and physical reality of it, how to dissolve them or what happens on the edges of those layers – that interests me very much. Photographic layers becomes a catching surface for those other surfaces that come to it. There is sort of failed narrative inserted with those layers, some story of how something was done. It’s definitely counter productive to the image itself but all the elements are rendered into final jpeg files or prints, that produces some sort of tensions inside of them.”
Describe how you start a project, do you start with your own images or do you find them in magazines or online?
“I work with my own images. Taking photographs, then working with them. When they are already cold enough and archived in the computer. Anonymous folders with dates. That’s the perfect situation for me. Then adding new layers, duplicating, using all the tools of Photoshop. Trying not to go back and keeping fast speed.”
What draws you to a particular image in your archive as a starting point?
“There are lots of images and there is this awareness that I would never be able to use all of them. Then I’m just watching and re-watching. Partly spontaneously some images pop up. Maybe through a certain detail or its content.
“There has to be some potential for changing the photographic image. Every image is a task: what is it capable of becoming? Sometimes it takes me too far and the whole frame of the image is replaced with generated layers.”
What is the final output of your photographic work? Is it important that they are physical prints?
“No, definitely not. I think they might become prints or might not. They are to be distributed through the internet, to become anonymous and poor. I’m very excited to find them lovely positioned in a set of porn pictures on Tumblr. At the same time, some of them are going to be printed or projected or find themselves in the video works. Modes of distribution are very much influencing what I’m doing. Some of the colors fit only LSD monitors, some look perfect when printed on matte paper. It’s always the process of conquering new territory and then leaving it for the next one.”
All images © Andrey Bogush