My name is Dino Kuznik. A Slovenian photographer and graphic designer, based in Brooklyn, New York. I was born in Mali Losinj, Croatia on a family holiday (was early to the party) and grew up in Slovenia, Europe. Since I can remember I was always a visual person and blame my grandfather for igniting the interest for photography in me. When I was growing up, we would browse through his photo books and National Graphic Magazines, all the way from the 60s and marveled at all the amazing photography we found.
I started seriously photographing in college when I got my first digital SLR. I worked as a journalistic photographer, studio assistant, and retoucher. As photography was not enough to sustain myself in Slovenia, I found a job as a graphic designer and started photographing for personal pleasure and working on my own projects. I moved to San Francisco in 2013, as the graphic design job gave me that opportunity and instantly fell in love with my new surroundings. This is when my style started to evolve and change – both because of my background as a graphic designer and because of me living in a nation, which was bombarded with westernization since leaving Yugoslavia in 1991. I dedicated almost all of my free time to photography – first just wandering the new city I lived in and later driving around the state and documenting the landscape and the area I found myself in. It was such a liberating feeling, which gave me so much in terms of personal happiness. Although I could be physically tired because of chasing light, I felt mentally refreshed every time I came back from a road trip. And so my process and style were born. They evolved organically and instinctively by doing what I loved the most … just driving and wandering around and observing and documenting, without any plan or destination. I like to think my instincts and intuition guided me through.
Now I live in New York and this city offers so much in terms of photography, but I keep returning out west. I feel a genuine connection to the desolate landscape – the desert. I have been documenting it for the last 3-4 years and will continue to do so until I find myself oversaturated with it. Although I already feel the saturation, as I am known by my “Americana” shots, I am constantly experimenting with new techniques (as you can see in my series Bleeding Magenta) and looking outwards to South America and Asia for my future projects.
I am in the middle of transitioning into photography full-time as this is what I really want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve had more than 13 years to learn and be sure about that.
Shaped by the West
An ongoing series of America as I see it – a personal study of the surrounding landscape and things I come across my travels, that spark my interest. All of the photographs are connected to my past, because this is the America I got to know when growing up in Slovenia, Europe.
Slovenia declared independence in 1991 from Yugoslavia and became a republic. With that, the floodgates to the western world were opened. I grew up watching movies, playing video games, listening to music and doing activities that were predominantly influenced or produced by the west. From Hollywood movies, cable TV channels, bands, and artists, to the Skateboarding culture that I was sucked into when in high school. It all introduced me to the to western culture – I grew up in a cocoon of the west. All of this shaped my perception and the things that visually attracted me.
In 2013 I moved to the San Francisco, USA for a Graphic Designer position. Living and traveling around California tremendously shaped my aesthetic vision and organically made me shoot in a different way. Different than I would do it otherwise. By constantly taking photographs I developed a style, that evolved organically – but also in a big part subconsciously – It came from the past.
This series visually explores the surroundings that I am attracted to or spark my interest in my travels. My compositions are a projection of my state of mind and a blast from a different era, shaped all the way across the Atlantic.
To view more of Dino Kužnik’s work please visit his website.
Dino is selling prints! You can purchase directly from his website here. We highly recommend it.