top of page

Most of my photography is influenced by paintings and how their decisions are made. There’s something about the formality of art contained within a rectangle that has always made me think about where an image ends and its relationship to where it’s placed. When I see a painting or photograph hung against an environment that is in some stylistic opposition to it, I always stop. As hotels where journalists and foreign aid workers stay became Russian targets, I stayed in a private rental. The wallpaper in the bedroom was bizarre, a framed fantastical landscape the only decoration. Outside, the gray city of Kherson was largely abandoned since the Ukrainians liberated it, the thud or artillery constant, Russians still firing from across the river. This serene unremarkable painting was suddenly something more.                         © 2023 Benjamin Busch

In a hotel in Dnipro, I took my chances. At the bottom of the stairwell there was a colorful pastoral of women gathered by the shore of a river, while outside the city ground out its day in waves of large and small tragedies, no one smiling on the streets. I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the painting had there not been a paper sign taped to it directing guests to the bomb shelter. It was as if it was a modern comment on the work, a graffiti title. The combination of those simple words in black and white, the arrow pointing away from the light, the frame, the painting, and the paper made this into a new image composed of three rectangles. It’s both very literal, and abstract. The women wear garlands of flowers and the men are gone.  © 2023 Benjamin Busch

bottom of page