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Reading and viewing "It's All Good," one gets the feeling that heroin and crack, not weed, are the r

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

Reading and viewing "It's All Good," one gets the feeling that heroin and crack, not weed, are the real gateway drugs.


Dec. 7, 2006 | 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.

boogoeOf course, Boogie himself, like every American immigrant or native, is negotiating both worlds, shutterbugging for Nike (a company that knows more than a few things about image manipulation and capitalization) and other clients to keep the bills paid as he pursues the addicted phantoms that inhabit the United States' invisible, ignored streets and ghettos. If only to find, in the end, that true reality, the kind that creeps up behind you execution style, will not, if ever, be televised. We exchanged a series of e-mails in between Boogie's hectic promotion of "It's All Good" and a project for Nike.

from    Michael (nebris)

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