Seeing the City through a Different Lens

October 26, 2011

Most people do not see gritty urban areas as the subject matter of art. Kate Boone, on the other hand, has based her entire body of work on them. A D.C. native, this photographer thrives in surrounding cityscapes, turning often decaying cement landscapes into thought-provoking imagery. Her use of distinct compositional elements and the documentation of street art capture the raw essence of the city and draw in the viewer.

Boone has always been a photographer, even at a young age shooting images with a Polaroid camera. Of this long-standing passion, the artist says “Even when I was a kid I would experiment with taking pictures of sewers and random trash strewn about. For me, there is something poetic that triggers me and it comes naturally to simply call it art.”

Inspired by the upcoming FotoWeek DC, ArtSee will be hosting Kate Boone and an exhibition of her photographs during Sundays with ArtSee on Sunday, November 13th.  In light of this event, we wanted to ask Boone some questions about what drives her work.

Our Shadows

ArtSee: How does something inspire you for a good “shot”?

BOONE: It has to strike a chord with me. Usually my photographs have something to do with words, or a place that triggers a memory.

ArtSee: Is your camera always with you…just in case inspiration comes along?

BOONE: Nine times out of ten it is with me. Whenever I go anywhere other than to work and back pretty much.

ArtSee: I notice that different cityscapes are a recurring theme in your photographs (Baltimore, Philly, etc.); what is it about urban areas that drive your work?

BOONE: I am a city girl and to be quite honest, I really like dirty, grungy places. I like the rawness of the streets and love to capture what people usually look as unwanted and show that at least someone finds it endearing.Stuck

ArtSee: How do you believe composition plays a role in your photography?

BOONE: Composition is a major part of my work. There are so many street photographers out there that you have to have something different to be set apart. For me this is the way they are displayed as miniatures and pink captions for that extra pop.

ArtSee: Do you ever create the “subject matter” (often street art) in the photos yourself? Or do you prefer taking an outsider’s perspective?

BOONE: I would never set up a photo.

ArtSee: What’s your favorite picture you’ve taken?  Or, which do you believe best represents your body of work?

BOONE: It is a Polaroid of a guy I used to know about to get hit by a train.

ArtSee: Do you have a favorite graffiti slogan you’ve come across that really stuck with you?

BOONE: There are so many, one that has definitely resonated with me is “Never date a bartender” outside some sleazy dive bar in NYC that has since been shut down.


The Last Time I Saw Ryan


Don’t miss Kate Boone and ArtSee at Veritas Wine Bar on Sunday, November 13th from 5-7 pm! Check out our Facebook invite if you wish to RSVP.


Bringing the Art in D.C. to You,


Kendall E. Willey