ABOUT THE ARTIST
Roger Weise lives and works in the Coastal Mountain Range Of Central Oregon, 20 miles southwest of Eugene. He was born in 1951, raised and came of age in the San Fernando Valley, CA. Weise studied art at Cal State University Northridge in The early seventies. After school, he traveled and worked different jobs and attempted different careers so that he might get a wee slice of life under his belt. He drove a taxi, cleaned office buildings and rang a register. He set tile, groomed poodles, installed chicken coops and ran a wall paper removal service for the rich and famous. He kept the brush at arm's length for long periods but put it to paper and canvas with passion from time to time. In 1995 Weise gave up his last "temporary career" as a technical support manager for a software company to become a full time artist, his real and authentic job.
The San Fernando Valley of the 50's and early 60's was still semi- rural, especially the west end. Sheep and chicken ranchs shared the landscape with orange, walnut and olive groves. These rural landscapes made a lasting impression on the artist's spiritual and aesthetic eye and are the core inspiration for the mysterious and eloquent landscapes that grace these pages.
1985 Susan Kay Gallery - Canoga Park, CA
A good work of art should be startling every time one sees it. Such a work begins a dialogue between the viewer and the art, and the more meaning that is implanted in the art, the deeper that dialogue can be. The value of any work of art is not in its price or its history, but in the inherent energy, its ability to act as a catalyst of responses in the viewer. Likewise, the most successful viewer is not one with the best education or the finest taste, but one who can respond to the work with the greatest sensitivity. Hopefully, my work provides no answers and removes no doubts. My intent, rather, is to ask tough questions - to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable - to plunge the viewer into that wondrous process of dialogue. The interaction is usually not a verbal or even a conscious one, but often one that continues, at various levels of awareness, as long as the viewer and the artwork are within range of each other (Incidentally, a similar dialogue occurs between me and each of my works, sometimes over a long period of time).
I believe every artist has a responsibility to society: to absorb, distill and interpret, through the artist's personalized filter, realities that would otherwise be invisible. I take that responsibility seriously, and that means I sometimes create images that are shocking or vulgar or in some way unpleasant. One essential element of my work is mystery, which I find slightly unsettling both to viewers and to myself. The images that occur to me are imbued with mystery. I try to maintain that feeling in the preliminary sketches, and if it does not survive the final step of bringing the idea into form, I feel the work has failed. My work revolves around the human condition, which is indeed mysterious. My intent is not to lead viewers through that labyrinth, but to engage them in it, to pitch them into the struggle with an attitude of urgency. And wonder. And hope.