. . . Caught between the long seediness of its past, fading like the ice cream pasteboards, and perhaps a glimpse of the American future, the privatized, sanitized austerity of a modern melancholia.”
While this poetic description is specific to Last Stop - Coney Island, a series by contemporary photographer Franck Bohbot, it also aptly epitomises the entirety of his artistic focus. Born in France and based in Brooklyn, Bohbot transforms documented reality through his own whimsical and timeless interpretations. Capturing the diverse relationships between individuals and their environments, Bohbot tends to focus on metropolitan landscapes and public spaces, creating pieces that are aesthetically retro yet modern in subject matter.
While some of the content is undeniably contemporary – including new skyscrapers and modern street scenes – Bohbot magically manages to make even the most up-to-date subject matter appear sentimentally shot and shrouded in nostalgia. Washed in subdued pastels and evocative of vintage photographs, Bohbot seldom conveys the inevitably gritty nature of modern-day urbanization and opts instead for a more wistful perspective.
Paying particular attention to the architecture within urban settings, the backdrops of his photographs span myriad locations; everlasting carnivals, still-standing Googie façades, glowing neon marquees, and the intricate interiors of hotels, museums, and cinemas comprise just a fraction of his distinctive yet diverse focus.
Forgoing natural landscapes for manmade scenes and sites, Bohbot’s body of work becomes a modern study of the city and its inhabitants. With an evocative focus on aesthetic agelessness and an obvious penchant for the past, his photography celebrates modernity through captivating composition and, ultimately, a timeless paradox.