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Virtual Gallery of the Regional Museum of Jagodina

Author of the exhibition: Jasmina Trajkov


Born in 1963 in Jagodina. He has been living in Cologne since 1989. Until 1991, photography was just a hobby for him, and then he decided to dedicate himself to it professionally. He enrolled in photography in Cologne and graduated in 1994. In the same year, he started working as a photographer at the University of Bonn. He is a member of the “City Treff Köln” photo club, at whose exhibitions he regularly exhibits. He presented his works for the first time at the exhibition of members of this photo club in 1994. He had his first solo exhibition in his hometown in 2002, while he organized the second one in Cologne in 2017.

Instagram: @borisairo

Although he got his first camera at the age of seven, Boris Airo decided to turn photography from a hobby into a profession only at the end of his third decade of life, after moving to Germany. In Cologne, he got a job as an assistant for industrial and product photography at the School of Photography, attending classes at the same time. He finished his education in 1994 and earned the title of professional photographer. For a couple of years, he was preoccupied with the idea of devoting himself to advertising photography, but the beginning of his work at the University Clinic in Bonn directed him, professionally, to scientific photography. Since 2000, he primarily deals with spectral and infrared photography in ophthalmology. Medical photography, as a part of scientific photography, does not allow experimentation or creativity, so Airo satisfies the need to express his creative side by engaging in other types of photography in his spare time.

First, he was devoted to studio nude photography and it was these works that he exhibited at the first solo exhibition opened in the Cultural Center in Jagodina in August 2002. In parallel with this topic, he became interested in still life photography, and not by chance. His passion is buying old things, which he often likes to place in his living space after restoration. Also, wherever he goes, he collects discarded objects, dried parts of plants, skulls and bones of animals, stuffed insects, rusty parts of machines, boards with paint residues, old fabrics, pieces of furniture… Those various objects, found in nature, at the flea market or by “side of the road” he combines, arranges and fits into artistic units and compositions, thus giving new values and context to discarded objects. He stages his still lifes in a specific way, organizing parts of the composition unconsciously and without any particular order or logic. He returns to the arrangement of the objects several times, and then takes photos of them, which he does in his small studio using natural diffused light.

For the last decade and a half, Boris Airo has been especially devoted to landscapes. The interest in this topic stemmed from the need to be in nature. Landscape photography is not a simple process at all. Not only is it sometimes necessary to travel long distances to reach the location, but it often requires taking photos in the early morning or late evening. The work is also highly dependent on the weather conditions, which cannot be influenced, but the beauty of landscape photography lies precisely in this unpredictability of nature. All this requires discipline, prior planning and patience from the photographer. Boris Airo told us about his experience in landscape photography: “The time span for a very good shot is short, 10 to 15 minutes at most. It often happens that the weather is not as I had hoped, that there is no sun, that on that particular day, at the same time and in the best possible place, a colleague has set up his tripod and camera before me. This forces me to consciously work on the composition of the shot, to always use the entire format and not to give anything away. The result is that I return from the trip with less photos than others. In the end, I have at most 5-6 good ones left. I am most attracted to the coast of Brittany and Normandy because of its diversity, because of the huge tides that contribute to completely change the landscapes, because of the weather that changes from hour to hour there and because of the cloud formations. I have never seen such a sky in any other places.”

Traveling around Normandy in search of picturesque landscapes, Boris Airo, like many artists before him, could not bypass Étretat, a famous fishing village and a popular tourist destination. The beauty of this place has attracted writers and artists since the 19th century. Victor Hugo and Guy de Maupassant, who lived there for a while, found inspiration here. The fascinating high white cliffs and the pebbly beach of Étretat were immortalized in their paintings by Courbet, Corot, Daubigny, Matisse, Degas, Monet… The western cliff of the Falaise d’Aval was shaped by the sea into a large arch that leans against the soft limestone cliffs. Next to it is a unique rock formation known as “The Needle” (L’Aiguille) which rises 700 m above sea level. Boris Airo conveyed the experience of these unique natural creations in his own way through photography.

His inspirations also were the rocky coasts of Brittany, the lighthouses, the seaside village of Zoutelande in in the southwestern Netherlands, in the past already being cherished by the Dutch painting artists due to its special sunlight effects. He took the latest photos during his stay on Madeira, an island rich in nature and a place known as a true paradise for photographers and nature lovers.

This virtual exhibition features Airo’s still life and seascape photography. However, his investigative spirit does not rest, and his interest is directed towards photographing lost places, a type of photography that has its beginnings in the 19th century, but has become increasingly popular in recent times. Urban exploration photography is the art of imaging old and abandoned buildings, structures or objects, traces of mankind that are slowly decaying and taken back by nature.

In anticipation of the new exhibition where Boris Airo will present himself as an urbex photographer, we would like to thank him most warmly for his cooperation so far and his willingness to present his work on the website of our museum.

Still life photography

Landscape photography