Woman Crush Wednesday: Simone Rosenbauer
Interview by Hallie Neely
Simone Rosenbauer is a working, internationally acclaimed, photographer born in Germany and based in Australia. She is currently a photography lecturer at University of Technology (Sydney). She is represented by both Lawrence Miller Gallery in New York City, and M Contemporary in Sydney. This series is called Like Ice in the Sunshine II (LA), you can view more of her work here.
As I understand, you began this project in Australia. Why did you carry the project to Los Angeles?
I decided to extend the first series to a broader context by taking it to another country. Los Angeles and Sydney are similar (and not similar) - both are known for their rich beach culture and sunny summer days. After exhibiting the first series my curiosity grew to see how a different culture influences the nuances of a consumer product. Originally the idea of Like Ice in the Sunshine came to me on a hot and sunny day at Bondi Beach, while I was observing other sunbathers. With my artist residency in Venice Beach, I could find further observations and inspirations. Sydney and Los Angeles are both situated on almost the same latitude, which also allowed me to shoot in similar sunlight.
Photography in itself is an art and an act of preservation. Popsicles don't last forever, especially in the summer sun, but your photographs of them do. Do you believe the preservation of these melting popsicles add another element to the work?
It's a moment frozen by a camera - but long gone. In the edit, I intuitively selected an image, which captures a tension between past and future. The images talk about the cycle of life - everything is constantly moving and has a beginning and an end. We've been left with memories, and we don't know what will come next - but we know there will be an end.
I loved a comment I read from a short review of your work, pointing out that this series made the person think about how we try to make something clean when it is meant to be messy. Did you consider this idea while creating a uniform to the work?
The work is open for different interpretations - my intentions were to use the popsicles- a cultural consumer product- as a metaphor to represent portraits of people in an abstract way. Each life is unique, and each of us has different life experiences that shape who we are. The frozen part is the past, and the melted part is the future- what we see in the photograph is the present.
Your other series have relatively calm, straightforward color schemes. Has this project inspired or influenced your ideas of color moving forward?
The two series 'Like Ice in the Sunshine I & II' intensified my relationship with colors - something I wasn't consciously aware of before. It inspired me to further explore the beauty and strength of colors. Driving through Los Angeles was a great inspiration for the second series just as the colors of Sydney inspired my previous projects.
Which of these popsicles was your favorite growing up?
My favorite popsicle was 'Capri,' a classic orange flavored popsicle. It reminds me of summer and holiday.
How would you describe your creative process in one word?
If you could teach one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
Failure and how failure and mistakes can free the mind from conventional concepts that can lead into inspirational ideas
What was the last book you read, or film you saw, that inspired you?
Stranger Things by Matt & Ross Duffer and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
What is the most played song in your music library?
Watermelon Man by Herbie Hancock
How do you take your coffee?
Take away - decaf latte - no sugar