Lewis RogersAmerican (b. 1948)
I discovered I wanted to be an artist from a early age. My first cousin was a successful portrait photographer, and even though I couldn't afford my own camera until I joined the Navy in 1969, I knew I wanted to use the camera for true creative expression. I graduated from Massey College in Atlanta with a B.A. in photography. While studying there, I met my wife, Becky, and we married and settled in Washington D.C. in 1975.
Photography up until recently was considered a form of documentation and only recently has been accepted as a form of expression. Starting in the 1970's some of us wanted to do a different kind of street photography than Franks, Lange or any of the other giants in the field. We were about composition, time, space, self expression, and moving photography into an art form in a post-conceptual world.
Visual Memories Series
Visual Memories is the compilation of the sequential and diptych symbolistic work from 1972 to 1984. This work is not about how I felt at the time the images were captured, but about the feelings the viewer has evaluating each image as a single image or in a combination with other images. These pieces were influenced by the various styles of street photography being done around this time. I've always thought that an image should be able to stand on its own, as well as a part of a sequence of images. I am now working on the book "Visual Memories" in the diptych style from this series.
Retinal Memories Series
In 1989 I began the next evolution of my sequential and polyptych work, a series of how one’s eyes (mine, at least) wanders from one point of interest to another, taking an irregular route through the scene as opposed to straightforward vertical or horizontal movement. Beginning in 1993 my focus started to shift as I became fascinated with capturing not just how your eye takes in a scene; but also how much of that information is mentally retained. To do so, I selected points of interest in the subject that show the space of the retained memories while the blank space around them represent the lost memories from the entire scene. These scenes can be as little as one view or as many as it takes to make a complete memory of a sequence in time. Feel free to use your imagination to complete the scene.
I've been working with digital photography since the 1990's for my family and social images. Digital imaging has changed how we think about a photograph from a documentary purpose that is always believed, to a image that is no different than oil paint smeared on canvas. Now photographs are no different than any other art form, and we can create whatever we want too.