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Agence VU - Martin Bogren
Martin Bogren

Swedish photographer born in 1967, based in Malmö (Sweden).

In the 1990s, Martin Bogren developed a personal approach of documentary photography by following swedish musicians and artists on stage, tour, and studio. His first book "The Cardigans - Been It », published at the top of the group's success in 1996 , reveals his work and launches his career. Martin Bogren however aims at going beyond assignments and music field : he focuses on more personal photographic work.

Travels encounters, (Notes, 2008, Italia, 2016), joy of first discoveries (Ocean, 2008), or teenage spleen (Lowlands, 2011, Tractors boys, 2013, Embraces, 2014) : his works reveal a vivid desire to avoid boredom and to reach an elsewhere. He gets in contact with his subjects as a silent witness, as a subtle and caring observer. Through grainy black-and-white and highly grey nuanced photographs, he succeeds in combining a documentary approach with a sensitive affirmation of his subjective vision.

Martin Bogren "manages not to disrupt the world into which he immerses himself, with decency, with attention and acuity, and with respect, without judging – holding his breath (…) One thinks, of course, of all those photographers who – from Robert Franck onwards, from Anders Petersen to Michael Ackerman – have known how to give us the gift of their way of looking, telling us that they wanted to show nothing more than what they needed to show and to say.» (Christian Caujolle, Foreword to Tractor Boys, 2013)

In addition to numerous grants and prizes in Sweden, his work is recognized internationally and part of several prestigious collections - including the Forografiska Museet (Stockholm), the Oregon Art Museum (Portland) and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.


  See the photographer's map...

Series

Italia (2017)

« Been walking around aimlessly for days now, Street after street. With a heavy heart, and loneliness as a constant companion. I’ve forgotten why I’m here and what I’m doing. » That is how Martin Bogren describes the creation's process of his series Italia. The swedish photographer wandered through Italy in the streets and alleys of Naples, Bologne, Turin or Palermes, taking pictures of what strike him or inspire him. The artist evokes a state of instability and floating which he chooses to transcribe with black and white and blur effects which give a timeless style to the pictures. Through a series of portraits, all created with the same kind of affection and tenderness,...

Tractor Boys (2012)

"...All of this has the air of a spectacle staged by actors. What matters, and what makes this work so compelling, is the way it is seen. Martin Bogren, has been accepted into a world clearly prohibited to adults. He doesn’t let himself be carried away by the exuberance of what he sees, or the excess, nor does he allow any complacency. A silent witness – it is truly remarkable that these images of moments of fury should be silent to this extent – he observes. In compositions as flexible as they are precise, as natural and instinctive as they are understated, he endeavours to report what he sees and what he perceives. At every moment he finds the right distance, one which states nothing...

Books

August Song

“I photographed August Song during summers 2013- 1018 in rural parts of Sweden; venues hidden in the woods on the outskirts of the villages. A winding road leading into the forest, hidden away on its own and divided by a fence from the world out there / the outside world.

At the back, a stage with an orchestra playing patiently through the night. Two slow dances and then two quick – song after song; all of them about love, while the crowd move slowly around the floor.

Surrounding it all a fence, and on the outside a parking lot hidden secretly underneath the pines. A place to get dressed, putting make- up on, fight, drink and make love. Above, a dull summer night wich never completely hides the going on in the hollow.”

Martin Bogren

Publisher: L’Artiere (2019)
88 pages
Size: 21 x 28 cm  

Italia

The artist Martin Bogren has spent most of the past three years in italy, capturing the country's atmosphere. This publication, beautifully designed by Greger Ulf Nilson, captures a historic traditional style of street photography and typifies a photographer's romantic notion of place.

Publisher: Bokforlaget Max Ström (2016)
80 pages
Size: 23,7x30,7cm  

Embraces

Signed and numbered limited edition of 150 copies with a signed print included (15 x 15). 3 images available, each print is numbered /50.

Publisher: auto édition (2014)
26 pages
Size: 18 x 21 cm  

Tractor Boys

Youngsters meet up on the village outskirts, racing their tractorcars, burning tyremarks into the warm summer asphalt. The smell of rubber, oil and souped-up engines fills the air when the engines speed. The cars form into a circle as the boys take turns in the middle. It is a game – showing their skills – showing off to the girls. Strength is measured and proved – as if in a strange ritual mating dance.
Text by: Christian Caujolle

Publisher: Aman Iman (2013)
60 pages
Size: 19x25cm  

Lowlands

Lowlands is an outer and inner journey to a place and a mood. Martin Bogren has returned to the village in southern Skåne province where he grew up to profile its people and places. He delivers a strong, personal story of childhood memories, youth, and the yearning to leave in order to chase the dream of something larger. A few buildings have been torn down and some new ones have been built, yet everything is familiar. A street, a door, a crack in a stone stair and bushes by the folkpark. Fragments remind me of the past and memory fills in the blanks, making it all alive and real again. I close my eyes and everything becomes clear.
Text by: Kim Loughran

Publisher: Bokforlaget Max Ström (2011)
112 pages
Size: 23, 2 x 20,2 cm  

Ocean

"There is no sea in Rajasthan. The journey from the inner of India took almost one day and a night. Thousand miles on lousy roads. The bus arrived an hour ago. A new day breaks over the Indian Ocean. It is the first time they touch the sea."
Martin Bogren

Publisher: Journal (2008)
40 pages
Size: 17 x 22 cm  

Notes

Published with the support of Stockholms Fotoantikvariat, this artist's book presents the photographic notes Martin Bogren made between 2003 and 2007 when in travelling through Spain, Italy, Sweden, Cuba, Portugal and Greece ... A 5,5 x 4,4 cm ink-jet original print is stuck on the cover.

Publisher: Stockholms Fotoantikvariat (2008)
Size: 18,6 x 15,4 cm  

The Cardigans - Been It


Text by: Martin Theander, Kristoffer Triumf - en suédois

Publisher: Tiden (1997)
96 pages
Size: 27,5 x 27,5 cm
ISBN :9188876535   





Awards


    2015 - Grant from the Swedish Art Council.

    2013 - Grant from the Swedish Authors Found.

    2013 - Grant from the Swedish Art Council.

    2012 - FRESH- Exhibithion at ClompChing Gallery, N.Y

    2011 - Grant from Swedish Authors Fond

    2011 - Grant from the Swedish Art Council

    2011 - Grant & award from Claes Löwenhaupt Foundation

    2011 - Grant & award from Arbetets Museum, Norrköping, Sweden

    2011 - Scanpix Grand Photography Prize, Sweden

    2011 - Grant from the Swedish Authors Fond.

    2009 - Grant from The Swedish Arts Council

    2009 - Sony World Photography Awards. 2nd prize for portrait serie.

    2009 - Ocean granted fo Honorable Prize for Best Photobook. Sweden

    2008 - Grant from the Swedish Authors Organisation

    2006 - Kavalla Grant from the Swedish Photographers Society.

    2006 - Grant from the Swedish Swedish Authors’ Fond

    2004 - Grant from Sparbanken Finn

Exhibitions



August Song (Paris)
From 2019-11-07 to 2019-12-14

La Galerie VU’ expose August Song, une série inédite de Martin Bogren. Cet ensemble s’inscrit dans la continuité d’Italia en révélant l’évolution d’une écriture photographique qui trouve son point d’acmé. Se déprenant de l’approche plus documentaire de ses séries précédentes (Ocean, Lowlands ou Tractor Boys) et de ses influences – la photographie suédoise est un héritage lourd de références –, Martin Bogren a photographié durant plusieurs étés les bals dans la campagne suédoises et nous livre un récit intimiste et vertigineux qui condense en quelque sorte l’affirmation sensible de ses visions...

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Hollow / Lowlands (Toulouse)
From 2019-09-06 to 2019-11-13

With his series Lowlands and Hollow, created several years apart, the Swedish photographer Martin Bogren exhibits black and white images of great sensuality, dreamlike and disturbing at the same time, and completely out of time. They show the evolution of the photographic writing of an author whose wanderings are less a physical travel than a mental and emotional journey: his intimate and poetic portraits become a sensible assertions of the subjective visions of the author. Vernissage on the 14th of September

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Italia (Sète)
From 2018-05-08 to 2018-05-26

Italia reveals the evolution of a photographic writing that seems to find its acme point. Taking away both the more documentary approach of his previous series (Ocean, Lowlands, Tractor Boys...) and his influences (Swedish photography is a heritage full of references), Martin Bogren has travelled through Italian cities without any real goal. It was a question of getting lost, of drawing a path with no predefined intention. His walks are not only spatial but also mental and emotional. We understand that if Italia is a poetic journey, the series is also an initiatory journey. Here, there is...

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Italia (Paris)
From 2017-11-03 to 2017-11-19

PhotoSaintGermain Le parcours photo de la rive gauche \"Si la série Italia débute comme un voyage à la rencontre d’un pays et de son peuple, elle évolue rapidement vers une narration relevant plus de l’état d’esprit ou de l’autoportrait. J’étais à l’époque dans une quête de renouveau. Alors que je sillonnais le pays, j’étais en proie à une grande agitation intérieure. L’Italie m’a transmis une joie de vivre qui m’avait cruellement fait défaut l’hiver dernier, alors que je voyagais vers le Nord. Un autre rythme, une nouvelle énergie retenaient mon attention tandis que mon esprit...

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Tractor Boys (Corbeil-Essonnes)
From 2017-03-31 to 2017-05-21

As part of the photographic festival \"L\'oeil urbain\", Martin Bogren exhibit his serie Tractor Boys on young boys in their early teens in the remote region of Skane, Sweden. Those boys have a ritual of gathering together in a large deserted field at night (some with their girlfriends) to drive souped up old cars at crazy speeds. Their frantic races that kick up dust and snow in the smell of burning rubber and oil and gasoline express the lust for life of a James Dean in the eponymous movie of Nicholas Ray .

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