Johan Bergmark is a rock‘n’roll photographer with tinnitus and a fondness for people. He was born in 1969 in Kärrtorp south of Stockholm, but spent his formative years shuttling between Huddinge and Norrland. And it is there, in Norrland, that he feels most rooted.
It is only good luck that prompted Johan to take up photography. His predominant passion originally was for music, which he is still enthusiastic about today. However, being completely tone-deaf he was forced to find another way of expressing himself. It so happened that photography turned out to be the perfect medium. It came easily to him.
Johan works with both film and digital photography, using a medium format camera and black-and-white film. His preferred companion when working is chance. The chance factor features prominently when working with film. It is when something goes “wrong” that something special happens.
Johan prefers black-and-white images over colour because there is less to “distract”. The viewer discovers the focal point of the image more quickly. The expression, the eyes, the feeling, the form! He doesn’t want his images to provide any answers. Rather he wants to encourage questions. Why is he standing there? Why is she hiding? What is he doing with his hand? And so on. Johan draws inspiration from music, film, literature, watching people go about their everyday life, food and drink, relationships, and anything else that makes life worth living, or a living hell.
Johan Bergmark is affiliated to the Bildhuset photography agency. He received the Nordic Region’s Best Rock Photographer award two years running (1994 & 1995). He is one of only two photographers to have been granted membership of Konstnärsklubben. He has had a series of one-man exhibitions, both in Sweden and around Europe.
Despite being a very egoistic photographer, who takes photographs for his own sake, because he has to, Johan’s images have featured in: MOJO, UnCut, Variety, EMPIRE, Washington Post, Herald Tribune, Rolling Stone, and Napp & Nytt, among other publications. In addition to his own personal projects, he also accepts editorial commissions and produces images for record sleeves and film posters.