// Roger is a Swiss painter and photographer living in the Canton of Bern. He has been a member of a photo club for some 40 years, participating in national and international competitions. During the corona pandemic photography became an even more important saving grace. Roger is also a painter, and the photo art we are showing is influenced by this background. It takes you to Venice as you have never seen it.
At the School of Design (Bern School of Applied Arts) Roger was attracted to watercolour painting. He studied this fine art with the well-known watercolourist Paul Rudolf Riniker. Riniker used to begin his classes with philosophical introductions to the task at hand. “I think it took me more than a year to understand his figurative, philosophical nature.” After a long while Roger did understand Riniker´s instructions. “You became aware of his very special statements while you were painting.” You can find some of Roger´s own beautiful watercolour paintings on his website.
“For me, photography is a source and inspiration for image creations. The camera, editing software, and filters are tools to create my own expressions of what I have seen. The images should not be documentary, but rather creations made through imaginative work,” he says.
Roger´s experience in painting supports and influences his artistic photographs. The quote below is something his teacher once told Roger.
“If you paint what you have in front of you, you don’t have to paint it, because that’s already there.”
Paul Rudolf Riniker
What draws you to the arts?
“To create something artistic is a constant need. I always need to find a form of expression that captivates and impresses the viewer, this brings me joy and demands new creations. This also makes life meaningful.”
What do you like best about experimental photo art such as the images you have shared with us?
“What I like about the Venice series is that the images reflect the mysterious, mystical and sometimes gloomy mood that one perceives in less busy moments in Venice.“
Roger once long ago participated in a painting workshop with his watercolour teacher in Venice and also took—at the time conventional—photos that were well received. At the beginning of 2020 he returned with the idea of capturing pictures of the famous Carnival. He had no idea then that there could be a risk of a Covid-19 infection. Nevertheless, he says, “unconsciously, I was suddenly reluctant to immerse myself in the masses of visitors. So, without further ado, another vision matured in me: to photograph Venice in a completely different, unconventional and picturesque way. These are pictures with a wholly personal touch.”
He created the images in this series using camera movements and mostly double exposures, using local structures and motifs. Roger then completed the artworks at home using Photoshop. To see more of the series please visit his webpage.
A few days after his return, the carnival was canceled and Venice was closed to tourists because of the looming pandemic.
Venice views are familiar and the city is a place of longing for many, even more so during the pandemic with its prohibitions on travel. Roger´s pictures actually offer completely different views of Venice than you usually get to see. Romantic, yet not clichéd: Roger has painted Venice with his camera.
Click on the photos to see a larger image with its title. Some images may be cropped for layout.