Emma Rogers Interviewed by Abbey Abate

A series of cut-out works by Marfa-based artist Emma Rogers prompts dialogue with fellow artist Abbey Abate

— When and where did art start for you?

I was born into it. Dad’s been an artist my entire life and Mom is a filmmaker. I want to acknowledge that because they’re supportive of me in what I do and raised me in an artistic environment. Through their circle of friends and interests, I was always exposed to it, so this is where my experiences started.

— Can you tell us a bit about this cutout series?

Cutouts came about a few years ago, actually out of boredom. I started by cutting from lots of old, pleasing magazines. It felt really therapeutic for me to choose parts of a photo and replace them with negative space. They have a visual language when things are missing. It tells a different story than what the photographer may have initially intended.

For this series, I joined or partnered magazine cutouts with my own photographs for a different layer of storytelling. The juxtapositions and choices are intentional and rarely purely aesthetic. For anyonegirl, I chose to feature cutouts with women in them.

— How does your environment shape your work?

I currently live in a remote place with expansive surroundings—but the town I live in is intimate, which makes for interesting dialogue and communication on a both a private and public level. My environment is made up of not just the beautiful outdoor landscape, but also the town’s community. As a human, I really need the outdoor expanse to feel alive, and this environment supports that. My community also supports my work greatly. Currently, a friend and I are building a darkroom in his yard. I don’t know if I’d be able to do that anywhere else.

— You were born and raised in Portland, OR and now reside in Marfa, TX. Do you find any similarities between these places, or do you draw any connections between them in your work?

I grew up on a houseboat in Portland, and I do feel a similar remoteness and community vibe here in Marfa. There is a train that runs through my current town and where I grew up, so I feel like that also ties them together.

— How do you begin your process?

I act on an idea that’s in my head, and realize it might not physically translate exactly as it exists in there. But that starts the process for me to create something that’s tangible or new.

— You work in a number of different mediums. Are there any other forms of art that you’re interested in experimenting with?

I’m interested in making videos. And also book-making.

— How do you start your day?

I wake up to my cat Rosa.

— How do you end your day?

I drink Tulsi sleep tea.









Artwork by Emma Rogers
Interview by Abbey Abate