Banality in Colour by Alex Djordjevic

This week we explored the work of Alex Djordjevic. His comedic take on banality using colour and light made his work stand out to us. With influences from some of the greats - naming Koudelka, Davidson and Eggleston - he captures temperament and sociology in Philadelphia. He's become one of our favourite artists. 

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Tell us more about yourself and your artwork.

I have worked as a cinematographer, producer, and photographer, with a focus mainly on social and environmental issues. I’m also an adjunct professor of cinematography and lighting at Drexel University. I currently live in suburban Philadelphia with my wife, two sons and a corgi.

What is your process behind planning a series?

I like documentary stories that introduce people, situations, emotions, etc. When something  gets my attention, I instinctively try to find a way to show it visually. I’m also very much inspired by everyday situations like my kids drawing on a wall, or a shopping cart left on the sidewalk, or my dad falling asleep sunbathing while listening to his short wave radio. I love those moments.

What work inspires you or has inspired you?

I Really like Josef Koudelka, Bruce Davidson, and William Eggleston. They all capture that specific moment or mood so well.

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Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?

That’s a hard one. I really enjoy so many different movements and styles. I really enjoy documentary style photography, pop art, Russian propaganda posters, street/graffiti work, my son’s drawings, etc. My son once drew me as a pig with a beard. I’m not sure what he was trying to say exactly, but I tend to like work where the idea is not immediately apparent.

There’s such a feel of colourful banality in your images. Are your photos staged at all?

My photos aren’t staged, I’m just constantly waiting or looking for that special moment to occur. Having said that, I do tend to take a lot of shots (especially of dogs biting bubbles)  and occasionally I get something that works well enough.  

Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?

I make it a point to try and show everyone in an honest and respectful way. I hope I’m successful most of the time. It’s strange being a photographer that really doesn’t like to have his own photo taken.

Any tips for aspiring photographers wanting to work with colour? 

I’m still learning to work with colour myself. Make sure the lighting and colour fit the mood and helps convey the message or story you are trying to tell.