Blue is the colour of sadness and blue is the colour that Osaka-based photographer Mikel Berradre (b. 1985, Basque Country) used to tint his photographs for the series Blue Bastards, in an attempt to illustrate certain aspects of Japanese society that he regards as mysterious and controversial.
Sorrow, censorship, untruthfulness are some of the themes Berradre wanted to reflect upon through his work, but noticed that a strictly documentary approach didn’t always result in a more truthful outcome. He then decided to intervene directly on the photographs by tinting and scratching them, in order to illustrate what he thought were the actual feelings of the people. The series shows darks figures with scratched faces roaming a blue city, and through this childish-like visual effect, the anger and resignation they disclose is outlined with dark humour.
There’s definitely something punk about Berradre’s approach that so fiercely denies the integrity of photography: “By scratching the pictures I achieved to create an unreal world that to me felt much more like the ‘real thing’”, he explains.