Between the [frame] Lines: California

Matt Borkowski is a Brooklyn, NY based photographer focused on minimalism and environmental portraiture. Matt is currently pursuing printed publication, exhibition, and commissioned opportunities. His extensive artistic background includes work in graphic and web design, fashion, and literature.

I feel that as a photographer, I’m always seeking new things to capture and express in my own right. I’ve lived in New York City, more particularly Brooklyn, for about five years now. One might assume that residing in what many consider to be the artistic capital of the United States (if not the world), would provide limitless inspiration, as well as countless oddities and characters to photograph, and while all of this is true, sometimes I need a break from it all. I guess the old adage of the grass being greener on the other side is sometimes true – and in this case, the fence I’m peeking over looks straight into my home state of California.

I think it was growing up in the Golden State that (obviously) makes California so special to me. Being able to call the beach your backyard (well, it was a few blocks…), making the half hour drive to the iconic Big Sur or catching the sunset on 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach were all commonplace to me and I feel as though I never fully appreciated these semi-wonders of our amazing world until I moved away from them.

New York is harsh and usually more aesthetically ironic than pleasing. It’s different from anything I had known on the West Coast (including San Francisco and Los Angeles) and because of this, I found the grit of the Big Apple to be appealing photographically. I find myself at times, however, longing for that openness that California provides me and simply have to get out of the hustle of New York to slow down and switch gears.

It was this feeling that was the initial impetus for the creation of an exhibition I put on last year at the lovely Brooklyn Collective titled “The California Republic.” It was a broad look at some of the less noticed niceties that my state has to offer, albeit a bit limited (due largely in part to my wallet). Since shooting “The California Republic,” I’ve traveled back out West several times to create, add to and preserve an ongoing catalog of work from this special place. My overall perspective on the series (which is now available to view on my website), is one of contrasting appreciation. I’ve tried to create a narrative juxtaposing the altered landscape of California (due largely to the effect of man’s inhabitance) with simple, natural beauty which is often overlooked or even unavailable for to me experience in New York City.

I’ve chosen a selection of photos from my California collection to share with you in this blog entry and encourage you to view the continuation of the series on my website.

-Matt Borkowski

To learn more about Matt and his work, please visit: www.mattborkowski.com.