To tell the story of a place, sometimes you need to step outside of the box for a new perspective. Aerial photographer Dinesh Boaz explores cityscapes from above, through the open door of a helicopter, where he looks down on the chaos below with an elevated sense of peace. His sky-high shots mix the voyeurism of street photography with the epic perspectives of urban landscapes to create something almost otherworldly. The New York-based photographer is also a musician and describes his eye for patterns and colors as a search for rhythm. “The art of the image is like a song hitting a cadence right before an impactful moment,” he says.
Boaz’s debut exhibition Closer, which he calls a photographic exploration of the urban oasis, opens tonight at W New York – Union Square. We met up with the eagle eye to get inside the mind of this uniquely vertical photographer.
How would you describe the artwork you make?
My work is photography and making fine art prints of my images. My studio is a moving helicopter with its doors removed. It’s an adrenaline-boosting flight while I work with the pilot to coordinate specific locations and ‘banking’ downturns to get a straight down, bird’s eye vantage point. So far I’ve shot NYC, LA, and Miami, all from the air and built a portfolio of prints.
What is the main inspiration behind your art?
I am inspired by the air to photograph and showcase light, color and the dramatic tension of the world below. Coming from a music background, I seek out sound in my photos; I look to find those symbiotic patterns and fast-changing colors that play together in rhythm, similar to the layers that make up a beat. For me, the art of the image is like a song hitting a cadence right before an impactful moment. It’s all there together and I shoot to find the interplay of the many elements, angles, and colors. I look to untangle this tension of changes in photography.
What was the first piece of art you made?
The first piece of art I made was a track called ‘Boozey’ for a UK-based underground label called Vehicle which eventually became Tempa records. It got a global release, received acclaim and support from the dance music press and DJ’s, and it was featured on several compilations.
What artist are you currently obsessed with?
I am currently inspired by the filmmaker Christopher Nolan. His use of visuals and cinematography along with his rich and dynamic storytelling inspires me to keep pushing the boundaries of my art.
Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Hanging out with my wife and out with friends somewhere downtown or in the Union Square is where I live or in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which is an easy train ride away and always has a chiller vibe.
If we’re going to buy you a drink, what should it be?
Got to be a Manhattan or recently something with Mezcal. Something about that smoky flavor that I’m enjoying.
A song you have stuck in your head these days:
‘Everything Now’ by Arcade Fire. On repeat the past few months. I saw them play recently at MSG and even more obsessed with these talented artists.
Your favorite city for seeing art?
Mumbai, India. I love traveling there to see family and friends and the art there is otherworldly. It has some of the traditional influences of India combined with the global influences of modern art.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’m really looking forward to planning out a trip across Europe next year. I plan to shoot as many of the French and Italian coastlines from the air as I can, as well as unwind with my family and soak in all the beautiful culture and the amazing food.
Who’s your style icon?
Idris Elba. His ability to carry off a unique look and style across everywhere he is presented is exceptional. He has been able to cross genres, generations, and cultures and still uphold such a caliber of performance, talent, and class as an actor and as a person.
Is there an art show, gallery or museum that really struck you recently?
I went to an opening for a good friend and photographer David Allee. He had a show called Chasing Firefly’s and it really resonated with me on how a photographer can take the world that we see and capture it in the beautiful medium of large format prints where the photo becomes a piece art much like a canvas painting: rich in color, textures, and depth. And how to create a deep emotion and reaction for the viewer, far beyond something I believe you can create purely in the social media realm.