Igor Smith and Driven By Boredom: The Tumblr (Discussion)

Hello everyone! Today I want to share with you an amazing photographer out of NYC, Nate "Igor" Smith.

In 2009 and 2010, the Gathering of the Juggalos was growing ever larger and started to attract formal media attention. At that time and in the years after, larger publications started discussing the Gathering and publishing photography after the festival each year. The Village Voice published some amazing articles online that presented the Gathering just the way it really is and they were accompanied by the photography of Igor Smith. Smith captured so many outstanding shots from the week long event, including portraits of Juggalo facepaint, a series highlighting the signs of the Gathering, live music performances, and the crazy happenings late at night. Smith, while himself not a Juggalo, understands the culture and embraces us, and half-jokingly considers himself one of the leading Juggalo anthropologists. He has photographed Juggalos, the Gathering, and many other events put on by Psychopathic Records to present our world to the world at large. He doesn't glorify, he doesn't demonize, he shows love for the Juggalos and uses it to craft an extensive catalog of our life and times.

Of course, Smith is known for much more than his photography of Juggalos, they comprise only one small part of his repertoire and I discuss it only because it is what turned me onto this photographer. Smith also photographs NYC nightlife, many large live music events around the nation, intimate scenes of girls in various states of nudity, and whatever else might catch his eye. In all of his photography, whether its a naked girl on an escalator, a couple of guys in a streetfight, or a black and white headshot of a celeb, Smith echoes the intimate photography of Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, and Ryan McGinley. His work shows youthful people without inhibition having fun, partying, or lounging around and presents a continuation of Goldin and Clark before him, providing an insider's look to generation in their twenty's living life to the fullest.

There are many places to find Smith's photography including DrivenByBoredom.com, Twitter, Instagram and his own app, The Girls of Driven by Boredom. It is Smith's blog, Driven by Boredom: The Tumblr that I'd like to highlight today. Smith's Tumblr blog shows a bit more personal side of his photography compared to his other media outlets and is updated very frequently. While he echoes and advertises his Girls of Driven by Boredom app with his Topless Tuesday posts of nude women in various locations and situations, many of his posts come off as more personal. Most of the images included in the blog can be seen on his other sites, but even they seem more personal to the artist. The blog features Smith's regular photography of girls, nightlife and intimate life as well as images not likely shared anywhere else such as pictures of his shoes, his parents' dog, humorous people or objects randomly encountered and even tributes to artists who've recently passed such as NYC's DJ Jess and photographer Mary Ellen Mark. The images provide a bit of a glimpse into the daily life of Smith, and while only a few have accompanying text to give insight into the artist, what commentary is provided along with the plethora of posted images can show what Smith is up to, people he's worked with recently, or whatever might be on his mind.

So, be sure to check out Igor Smith through one of his many outlets, enjoy and share his wonderful photography, and be sure to check back here for more photography from me, Jet Yonkin. You can always view my work at JetYonkin.com and I will continue posting discussions about photography and some of my own work here on my blog.