The Urban Lens: Niv Rozenberg’s graphic images highlight Bushwick’s diverse housing

July 28, 2017

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, photographer Niv Rozenberg shares his series “Boswijck,” an artistic depiction of Bushwick’s houses. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Originally from Israel, Niv Rozenberg has been living in Bushwick for the past couple years. During this time, he became fascinated by the neighborhood’s colorful homes. Taking a literal and figurative approach to “colorful,” he set out to showcase Bushwick’s architectural and cultural diversity. While doing some research for the project, he learned that the original 17th-century Dutch name for the area was Boswijck, meaning “little town in the woods.” Choosing this as his series title, he then juxtaposed the historic moniker by visually isolating each building and employing Pantone colors to turn them and their backgrounds into graphic images.

What brought you from Israel to Brooklyn?

I moved to New York in 2009 to peruse my MFA in Photography at Parsons, The New School for Design. After graduating, I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn because I was looking for more space and cheaper rent, like most people I knew. I spent most of my time in Brooklyn so it all made sense.

How would you describe your artistic style?

My work explores complexities within the urban environment, shifting between straight photography and digital manipulation. I admire and am influenced by the work of the classic Dusseldorf School of Photography and the “straight on” topographic view on landscape and cityscape.

Tell us a bit about your “Boswijck” series. Where did the inspiration come from?

I was fascinated by the neighborhood’s varied colorful architecture and the constantly changing cityscape. I started photographing buildings next to where I lived and was looking for a way to emphasize their uniqueness. By visually separating them from their surroundings and using digital manipulation, the work deconstructs these facades to a variety of forms and colors, which highlight the neighborhood’s mixed architectural history.

While doing some research I came upon Bushwick’s original name and meaning – ‘Boswijck’ (little town in the woods). It’s interesting to think about the origins of the place and how it has evolved.

Can you explain your process in digitally manipulating the photos?

The first step was finding unique facades and photographing them in a “straight on” way (keeping straight lines and angles). Next was digitally processing the images, to visually isolate these facades from their surroundings (removing trees, street lamps, cable lines etc.). Finally, matching the colors of the building to a solid background to graphically emphasize its form and style.

What’s your favorite subject matter to photograph in NYC?

For me, New York City is a tricky place to photograph. It feels like most of it has been photographed already, but I am usually drawn to architecture and the urban environment, and always looking for a fresh way to observe and capture my surroundings.

Instagram: @nivroz

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Niv Rozenberg was recently selected as the winner of the Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards by the Susan Spiritus Gallery, who is now representing the series.


All images © Niv Rozenberg

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Location: Bushwick

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