Meet Christy Lee Rogers: An artist that uses water to create worlds outside of this reality21 Mar. 2021
Award-winning artist and INDEX Exhibitor, Christy Lee Rogers in collaboration with A Gallery, chats to the INDEX team about her artistic work, inspiration and why they use INDEX as a platform to meet interior designers.
How would you describe yourself?
My name is Christy Lee Rogers and I’m an artist that uses water to create worlds outside of this reality. Worlds that I want to live in, that are soft, passionate, full of freedom and yet show the vulnerability of mankind within a setting of hope and beauty.
How did you first get into fine art photography?
As a child and teenager I was always looking for my own freedom, and feeling very disconnected from the world around me. Then I was given an old 35mm camera and became obsessed with it. Water then became my artistic obsession, like finding a secret and being able to make magic through the lens. I had no idea where it would take me, but I kept traveling down the path with experimentation after experimentation, and each shoot would reveal some new challenge or idea that would then enhance the next shoot. You know when you’ve found true love because everything else disappears, time slips through the cracks; and it feels effort-less.
Is there an underlying message you impart through your work?
Each image and shoot is a question I need answered and a way to research and dive into those areas. We're all so beautiful at the core of who we are and it's my wish that everyone will really see this in themselves. And my wish is that we can all find forgiveness for of ourselves and forgiveness of others. And not the kind of forgiveness that has anything to do with blame but a deeper acceptance that we're all in this together, that we're stronger if we bind together. I see so much destruction in life, how people can literally destroy themselves, and this keeps me up at night. It seems to me that the human mind is corrupt in some way, like a corrupt hard drive. So art, love and beauty can take us out of the mind and into something way higher than that—us.
Who are you inspired by or draw influence from?
The most important inspirations in my life were actually with filmmakers like Fellini. I fell in love with his breathtaking and genius films as a teenager. Every visual captivated me in a hundred different ways. I couldn’t breathe when I watched them. Baz Luhrmann is another favorite inspiration, for his brilliant visuals, costumes and editing.
Ultimately, there is something inside of me that pushes me forward, that I can’t even explain with words. That has a huge influence on me. And I love the wild stories from old folklore and Greek Mythology, the truth and heart felt poetry of Michelangelo who was searching for something higher than himself, texts about space and time that remind me that the universe is so big, magical and unexplained, the stunning costumes and sets of Baz Luhrmann that are playful and insouciant, U2 and Muse lyrics that are filled with the most profound heart and soul, the old films of Georges Melies that are pure creative freedom, the music of Itzhak Perman and Danny Elfman for Cirque du Soleil for their songs that are from another world, Peter Paul Rubens and Caravaggio for their perfection of drama, passion, color, light and movement. Banksy is also a super hero for me, with art and a message that changes the world. Bjork and Grimes for being so true to their visions as artists. Photographer Orit Gersht, David Bowie, and the list goes on. Inspiration is everywhere.
What do you work with (i.e. materials, software, concept, colour etc.)?
Christy prints using archival pigment prints, these are the highest quality museum quality photographs that retain their vibrant colours for the longest time. Christy displays her photographs in both contemporary, traditional of elaborate frames. For the really modern home she also offers acrylic face-mounts, which is a display that is like a frame but without an edge - showing off the artwork and sending out an on-trend message.
Where have you exhibited your work before?
Recently Christy’s works were exhibited by the World Photography Foundation in London when she beat 274,000 entries to win the Sony World Photography Award. Christy has exhibited during the Venice Biennale, has a major exhibition coming up in Paris and counts the director of Titanic and Avatar, James Cameron, among her collectors. Christy’s works were also shown to the world when the world’s most valuable brand, Apple commissioned 12 photographs and released them to their 24 million fans on New Years Eve. Lavazza, who have previously worked with A List photographers like Annie Liebowitz, also recently commissioned Christy for the front of their calendar.
How does meeting people face-to-face influence your sales, especially in this new Covid-19 impacted world?
For the last 24 years we’ve helped interior designers find art to suit their design scheme and their client - we do this by finding out precisely what the designer is imagining, so meeting face to face, or mask to mask, is vital. We are happy to work over Zoom, because what really matters is getting as much information as possible to provide the contemporary art to most fit the designer’s project, but the benefit to the designers in being able to see the art is that the scale and colours and finish of Christy’s work really blows people away when seen in person.
You’re expanding into new territories with your debut at INDEX Dubai 2021; what is the appeal of the Middle East market?
The Middle East now has the pioneering spirit that America was founded on - you used to hear that the reason people loved working in America is their ability to say yes to start something new and adventurous - to dream; well that honour now belongs to the Middle East. Dubai is doing it biggest, doing it best and doing it the most - we want to contribute to all the beauty in the UAE and help them win even more honours.
What will you be presenting INDEX Dubai 2021?
We will show three large scale underwater photographs by Christy Lee Rogers, displayed in 3 of the most modern and stunning methods of display. We will
Also show 3 short films about her, one made by CNN, one made by Apple and one made by Lavazza. And we will have all of her press articles from Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, etc., also on display.
What are you most looking forward to at the show?
A Sheikh walking up and telling me he’d like to fill his entire building, including its exterior, in Christy Lee Rogers’ art - videos, photographs, ceilings, walls, underwater holograms - everything!
Meet Christy Lee Rogers and A Gallery at the INDEX Exhibition from 31st May - 2nd June at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
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