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Tom Bovo Photography: Seeing Brooklyn Through a Different Lense

By Elisha Neubauer

"Creating art is not something that one wants to do; it is something we need to do," says Brooklyn photographer Thomas Bovo.

When Bovo's father gave him a camera as a small child, he had no idea that he was about to shape his son's future. The camera was the first tool that Bovo can recall using to create images- images that would later lead to Bovo's chosen career path. He studied with many important and well-established artists in New York during his tenure at Columbia University, but found his place in the world of photography.

"I keep returning to the camera as a primary tool and medium of choice, especially now that digital imaging opens a whole range of possibilities to create images," Bovo says.

Although his work has been referred to as street art, surreal, realist, and expressionist, Bovo says that he does not like these labels. "I have certain subjects that I like to work with, and when I am working on a specific project, I develop a way to photograph the idea that interests me. There are certain things that I like to do in my photographs, because of the influence of other photographers, or other work that I have seen," says Bovo, in regards to his work. While he enjoys the process of taking pictures, Bovo tells us that the real satisfaction comes from making the final print and holding it in his hand.

Bovo says that his inspiration comes from his artistic process: "I try to shoot a lot of photos and then sort through them, editing things that look interesting. I might experiment with cropping, or printing something in color or black and white. Once I see some things that look interesting, I go back and take more photographs of the same or similar subjects and start the process again. For example, I've been making photographs about New York almost 50 years. I hope I've learned something about New York, and maybe even created an interesting photograph."

According to Bovo, New York is the ultimate photographer's dream- containing all of the elements that would entice and inspire an artist: patterns, textures, colors, lights, deep shadows. "The natural light that exists in New York is truly wonderful to work with during the day, and at night the city has a colorful glow," he remarks.

Bovo's work has appeared in the collection of The Instituto Slovacco a Roma (Slovak Institute to Rome and the Vatican), and private collections in New York City, Brooklyn, NY, Pasadena, CA, Tucson, AZ, Birmingham, AL and New Orleans, LA. He has been featured in solo exhibits at The Peninsula Art Space, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, as well as group exhibits at Carriage Trade and Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Caladan Gallery, Cambridge MA, and Upstream People Gallery, Omaha NE. You can see his work on display at regular intervals at the 440 Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and in his online portfolio galleries.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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