Photography, photomontage, and rephotography with Roger Leege
1. Let's start with the basics, tell us about yourself.
I grew up in central Florida and “ran away” as soon as I could. Goddard College, in Vermont, and the program and people there came to the rescue. After BA and MA degrees (Fine Arts, Education), I piled on certificates in Technology Education and Computer Science. I taught all the 2D arts and crafts at the secondary, college, and adult levels and was an early adopter and evangelist for computer-linked art and digital artist’s tools. Amazing but true, I returned to the “heart of darkness” in 2011 and live and work in southwest Florida, where I publish Dek Unu Magazine.
2. What media do you mainly work with?
Almost exclusively photography these days: straight photo, photomontage, and rephotography.
3. What got you started on your current path?
I did my first roll of film with a borrowed Rolleiflex in the filthy high school darkroom. The sight of the first image appearing in the magic water (Brovira and Dektol) can be blamed for everything since.
4. How have things (artistically, life, whatever) changed for you over the past year?
Oddly, I’ve been more productive. The plague has provided the opportunity to go back through the archives and to finish incomplete work as well as to discover new possibilities in forgotten files.
5. Who to/Where do you look for inspiration?
I trained back in the days when fine art photography was first appearing in the museums and look back to the big names (Adams, White, Uelsmann, Arbus . . .) for my definition of what a good image should look like. For conceptual inspiration, I am as likely to look to writers (Pynchon, Barth, Barthelme, et al.) as I am to visual artists.
6. What are your major concerns with the world today?
Wave after wave of examples of superstition, paranoia and anti-intellectualism arrive and are often encouraged by commercial media, chunks of academe and organized religion.
7. How does your artwork connect with your larger purpose?
When I’ve created something that encourages thinking, I’ve lit my one little candle, eh?
8. Advice for beginners (of any age)?
More is better.
9. Work/shows we should look for?
Please have a look at my website for news and at www.dekunumag.com each month to see what else I’m up to. The unique, solo-format print and online magazine presents an extended portfolio, artist’s image commentaries, and an in-depth interview for each month’s featured artist and provides a respectable, respectful alternative for international art photography.
10. Final comments? Additions?
Thanks to SAR for featuring my work and for helping to keep the faith!
Roger Leege, writer and visual artist, draws on his past as a lawn boy, meat cutter, storyteller, trucker, EMT, poet, trim carpenter, bass player, painter, embalmer’s assistant, printmaker, analog photographer, journalist, dissident, videographer, educator, computer scientist, and somewhat atypical Florida man, to make his art. With gallery and publication credits in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, he maintains a portfolio of current projects at www.rogerleege.net. Inquiries: rleege at gmail dot com.