The aesthetics of Canadian photographer Roeg Cohen is quite complex to put into words: in his simplicity, there's the captivating pull which makes ever looker gravitate into his subjects and connect with them.
Whether of women or horses, his elegant greys and off-whites are held up-close. They yearn to be known in their rawest portrayals.
Get intimate with Roeg Cohen through his interview with Lomography Magazine.
Hi Roeg, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Firstly, as a portrait photographer, we notice you also take equine portraiture. Why do horses fascinate you?
Hi Ciel. Thank you for having me. Horses resonate in an emotional way that feels familiar to me.
Apparently horses are deemed as one of the most beautiful animals, noted for their hair. Do you think humans share some non-physical qualities with horses?
I do. Horses are emotionally intuitive. I’ve often wondered if the empathic relationship Horses and humans have is due to 1000’s of years of working together. Or if it preexisted the relationship: and that’s why the bond is so strong.
You shoot in analogue. Why so?
There’s alchemy to any creative process, and I like serendipity to be part of that process. Most often, the serendipity is the result of a mistake. And those mistakes on film feel like something.
If you could photograph one thing forever, what would it be?
I can’t imagine ever getting tired of photographing horses. The experiences I’ve had mean as much to me as the pictures.
When taking a portrait, what do you usually look for in composing an image?
I honestly don’t think too much about composition. Usually I’ll have a conversation with whom I’m shooting, and take pictures while we talk. Following them, and moving around them.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Whom are your muses?
What and who inspires me is always in flux.
If you could work or collaborate with any photographer or artist, who would it be? Why?
I find Miroslav Tichy really inspiring. But he’s dead, so there’s no chance of that happening. I think the worship of technical proficiency can get in the way of making work that resonates with feeling. They aren’t mutually exclusive…but if you look at Tichy’s work, he did things his own way, and the work is mystical to me.
As for a living figure, there’s a photographer in Europe named Germana Stella that shoots self-portraits. I’m really in love with her pictures. I hope to work with her in the future.
What do you usually do during your downtime? Any on-going project, or other plans you're keen to work on?
I feel restless if I don’t have something to do, so I’m always working on something.