Reckless Unbound! Christy Lee Roger’s latest exhibition – FAULT review

French Lace Top: Lauren Stucky
Mermaid Skirt: Belle N Matisse
Silver Wing Pendant: Luthier
Shoes: Rachel Roy

Reckless Unbound, Christy Lee Roger’s latest exhibit of photography, opened November 10 in Los Angeles at Aesthesia Studios and will be on display until December 3.

Gaze at one of Christy Lee Roger’s photographs, and you may be confused at first glance. Is it a painting or a photograph? Are you upside down or is the art?

The pieces distill under only slightly closer examination. While Rogers says that her inspiration can be drawn from almost any source, music and the concepts of space and time are some of her key references, in addition to personal emotions and experiences. Piece titles such as “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and “The Unending Journey” give cues to the audience and establish and rapport and dialogue for uncovering further meaning.

While Rogers has a background in painting, filmmaking and performance art, she was often shy about sharing her work. But in 2009, Rogers made the decision to overcome her privacy.

“I was studying and reading a lot at that time, and I was really growing as a person, so there was a lot I wanted to communicate and there was a lot I wanted to say,” Rogers said. “The art and the photography was the way to say it.”

Rogers opts out of working with models, choosing instead to work with those who have a fresh perspective on being in front of the camera, such as friends or people who approach her as subjects because they are interested in her work.

But what’s even more unusual is the medium used to achieve her signature style. No—it’s not digital technology and post-production magic. It’s water. Water that replaces air as the common element of the shot and acts as a lens additional to the one Rogers holds in her hands.

“Honestly, I loved the images the way they were,” Rogers said of her technique and lack of digital manipulation. “I was trying to go back to this simplicity.”

Aesthesia Studios – Los Angeles

Rogers shoots the majority of her work in swimming pools, at night, in Hawaii, with intense lighting and a variety of fabrics as her color palette. Such a modern setup is a far cry from 17th century amenities, however there is no mistaking the parallels between Rogers’ style and the drama and fluidity of the Baroque period’s master painters, with much of her work prominently featuring rich, classic shades and chiaroscuro tonality. In fact, the brightness contrasted with dark in many pieces forces casual observers to examine whether or not the pieces are backlit to produce the effect.

In Reckless Unbound, Roger’s explores the tumult of the human condition, both bodily and spiritually.

Her previous bodies of work, Odyssey and Siren, display a silence and solitude, featuring usually one subject in a calm surrounding. With Reckless Unbound, up to six subjects entered the water at once, creating a beautiful chaos captured within the images themselves.

“[There were] a lot of bubbles,” Rogers said. “Before, I was trying to be a little more careful. I didn’t want to see those imperfections. I actually used [them] this time.”

The motion and tumult also reflect the title of the collection.

“The word ‘unbound’ was this beautiful word that had this meaning that meant someone had been bound and now they were unbound,” Rogers said. “So there was this movement in that and this freedom. And the ‘reckless’ word is just this feeling when you want to move fast and you want to go. It’s actually very hard to explain, but it’s sort of this passion that you can’t express.”