Artists Under Glass

Sonja Rieger

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Point and Shoot: When it comes to work, Sonja Rieger, professor of photography, wants to clear all obstructions from the frame. “I like a clean space unencumbered with the rest of the things in my life so I can really focus,” she says. Rieger keeps her lights and backdrop set up all the time, “so I can just walk in the door and shoot,” she says. “Writers write at the same time every day because their subconscious is working when they are not writing, and when they sit down at their regular time to write, everything comes out. I think the same thing happens with a studio: Your subconscious is working when you are not, and when you walk in the door, the wheels start working.”

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Weather Report: “My most recent body of work, Rally, is a series of 60 x 40 photographs of a Ku Klux Klan rally I attended in 1979, which are paired with photographs of Alabama skies,” Rieger says. “The rally was held on a Sunday night,” she recalls. “I drove with a friend who was too frightened to stay with me; she had grown up with guns and could tell that the rifles the Klan members carried were shotguns and were held upright because they were loaded. Everyone was in full regalia, including children with vanilla ice cream cones.”

Learn more about Rieger and see additional examples of her work here

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