Milk Gallery Presents: BG Boom

In 1999, Dusan Reljin was in New York when NATO bombed Belgrade in order to drive out Yugoslavian forces from Kosovo. Forced to watch the destruction of his home city on TV, Reljin had never before felt a greater distance between his birthplace and the promising photography career that had brought him halfway around the world.

Reljin finally brings these two disparate worlds together in BG BOOM, a collection of images that merge his fashion photography for publications such as W with his personal photos of Belgrade buildings ruined by the NATO attack. The exhibition opens in Milk Gallery on October 22 and runs through November 3.

Rather than presenting his photos as simply more documentation of Belgrade’s wounds, Reljin decided to incorporate models from his favorite fashion photo shoots by splicing in images of models such as Natalia Vodianova. From these unlikely pairings came a series of creative decisions that Reljin says reflects his life’s journey.

“It’s my interpretation of my life so far," he said. "It’s my personal experience of war and at the same time, my work in the fashion industry that is the complete opposite of that. While this was all going on, I was in New York working in the fashion industry and most people didn’t even know about the Belgrade bombings. This is my way of letting people know what happened.”

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