Interview: Rog Walker on "A Love Story"

I’ve never really been into Valentine’s Day. I think I’ve actually only celebrated it once in my life…with an ex-boyfriend, who cooked for me and we watched movies. Which is basically what we did all the time…so ok, I guess I’ve never really celebrated it.

Meet my good friend and photographer extraordinaire: Rog Walker. You might remember him from a recent post - does this jog your memory?

He’s never really been one to celebrate Valentine’s Day either.  Oh wait, there was that one time: “I think I was 16 and my friend and I decked out his parents' house,” Rog recalls. “We got some Hypnotiq and that red stuff, what's it called? – I don’t even drink – and we had our girlfriends over. I didn’t even really like the girl that I was with, I actually liked my friend’s girlfriend [laughs].  The only thing I remember about Valentine’s Day prior to that is those little heart-shaped candies with the sayings on them. I was so socially awkward, I never had a valentine growing up. I mostly spent Valentine’s Days with crushes, not valentines.”

To honor the day his way, Rog put together a photo story - "A Love Story" - that will debut tomorrow on Valentine’s Day proper. 

Don’t expect a classic love story though (duh) – this is not a piece for the conventional or the nostalgic or the mushy. He explains: “Valentine’s Day is traditionally about love, and when we think about love we usually think about people in love with other people. I wanted to take a look at love from a different perspective: of loving something. As [the photo story] progresses, you see the people in the couple falling more in love with who they really are as individuals – with their own identities – and as this happens it causes them to grow more distant.”

This is obviously something you've experienced firsthand?
“As I’ve come to find my identity and who I am, I’ve definitely gotten pushed away by people – because of the way I dress...the career path I’ve chosen...the priorities I've made. I’ve spoken with other people, other artists who have gone through the same thing – so I wanted to create something that those people could relate to. [My last relationship ended] because she wanted the norm; she wanted to get married and have a husband. By me choosing to be me – by me choosing my art - we fell out.“

Crap, so do you think it’s impossible for an artist to be romantically involved with another artist?
“I don’t think it’s impossible. [As an artist] you just have to find somebody who is as secure in his or her identity as you are. I did some research a while ago about why super creative people…icons…have sucked at relationships. I’m looking at all these people – Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, [photographer] Richard Avedon – and I’m noticing that when you’re an artist and you’re all about your identity as an artist, that consumes your whole life. If something doesn’t fit into that world, then it doesn’t fit into your identity. With Mozart, whose wife’s name was Constance, they worked really well together. But if you research her you’ll find that she was a composer as well.  Artistic identities have to cross in a complimentary way or [the relationship] will fall apart.”

Best love songs ever?
1. Kate Nash, “Nicest Thing” -
2. Bob Marley, “Is This Love”
3. Lauryn Hill “Nothing Even Matters”

“That Kate Nash song puts me in freakin tears,” Rog says with a head-shake. “My favorite line is something like: ‘I wish that you knew when I said two sugars, actually I meant three.' That's what I want...I long for that."

Check Rog’s website (CLICK HERE) – "A Love Story" will be up tomorrow.  

Photo subjects: Kadeem Johnson (CLICK HERE) & Nicole Alyse (CLICK HERE)


J. said...

really enjoyed this.

Mihal said...

many thanks jasmine :)

Kirstie. said...

This has me crying as I read it. It explains so much of how I feel. Being an artist is one of the most beautiful and powerful forces but it can leave you feeling soo lonely.