Irina Rozovsky: Into the Brooklyn Wilds

Photographer Irina Rozovsky felt compelled by something intangible and unexplainable to move to Brooklyn. Rozovsky, who was born in Moscow but brought up in Boston where she lived for twenty years, had started to feel “sedentary and restless” and “noticed a centripetal force pulling” her toward New York. She says, “I’m inspired and energized by chance and accident, when things pop up unexpectedly, unplanned, but make sense in a cosmic sort of way.”

So, it seems almost like fate that she would end up not only living in Brooklyn, but documenting it in her ongoing series “In Plain Air,” which captures the unique convergence of urban life in a natural setting. Rozovsky’s subjects come alive in the verdant heart of Brooklyn in an unexpected way, released from the normal constraints of the city, they flourish. Rozovsky tells us, “For me photography is primarily a way to look outwards and inwards at the same time and make these two views relate, which they often refuse to do. The camera is good at showing me what life looks like and allows me a sort of quiet response, a chance to put a spin on it. And I love that photography offers a speechless invitation to create a story. There’s a universality to its language that’s shared by everyone who has ever lived and seen.” When we ask Rozovsky what it is about photography that appeals to her so much as an artistic medium, she replies, “Well, it’s fast and easy—a photo usually only takes around 1/125 of a second to make—which is good because I’m impatient. But then things get hard. And therefore interesting.” It seems that the same things she loves about photography—its speed and difficulty and variability—are the same things that would appeal to anyone about Brooklyn.

Portrait by Joanna McClure
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