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Meet Johnny Bubu Cohen

By: Tal Levy   29.08.2021
A few weeks ago we sat down together to have a small chat over a cup of coffee. At first glance one can understand that he is a person who has managed to win his inner conflict, which can also be seen in his art.
Bubu is a young photographer with a refreshing and contemporary voice. He explores how to create innovative things and maintain old forms 
simultaneously.

'Untitled', 2021

35mm

Hey Johnny! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi I'm Bubu. I'm an independent photographer working and living in Tel Aviv.I try to explore photography in a more tangible way. I scan the film by myself. Usually I'm playing with it by wrap it in different materials, burn it, cut it or put different textures on it. I like to shoot unusual characters in off-bit angels.

Where did your passion for art begin?

It started when I was a kid. I always loved to illustrate and do animation but I felt I wasn't good enough so I stopped doing it. When I was a teenager my sister offered me a job as an assistant in commercials production set, where I met a professional photographer that I started working for him right after as his assistant. I fell in love with photography so my sister bought me a single-use camera, most of the photos came out bad but I loved it. Then I found old analog cameras in my parents' house and started walking the streets and shooting with it. I connected to tell a story through a photo, to create a different world from the world I live in. 

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'Silvi', 2021

Analog, scanned with an Arab newspaper on top.

35mm

How would you describe your work to someone?

I would say that my works capture my point of view, of getting lost in the moment. I try to draw a line between the real world to the world I'm creating. Today I'm very connected to the fashion world and you can see that in my works.I love textures and fabrics, I also like colorful characters like me, ones that can't be defined.On the other hand I׳m very connected to nature so I try to combine these two worlds together to form my own reality

What are you currently working on?

I'm always on the go, so I'm currently working on more independent projects.

I'm also working on my first solo exhibition.

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?

My approach to each project is different. Even if I'm planning something, once I start shooting it changes depending on the environment or person I'm working with. It also depends on my mood and feeling at that moment, most of the time I shoot in places I have never been to.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

I׳m influenced by music and time periods that excite me. I really like the 60's and the 70's culturally and musically. I always try to preserve the old world in an analog way, I love the dirt and the imperfection.

׳Horror in wonderland', 2021

Analog, double exposure with fabric.

35mm

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

Like I said before I'm very excited to be working on my first solo show.